Pubdate: Tue, 18 May 2010
Source: Modesto Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Modesto Bee
Author: Merrill Balassone
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?137 (Needle Exchange)
RULING HURTS IN MODESTO NEEDLE EXCHANGE CASE
A judge ruled Monday that two people arrested for handing out clean syringes to drug users and collecting dirty ones will be barred from telling a jury they did so to help prevent a public health emergency.
Kristy Tribuzio, 36, and Brian Robinson, 38, face up to a year in jail after undercover officers said they caught the two operating an unauthorized needle exchange in a south Modesto park in April 2009.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Cordova said the pair had other options that were legal, such as lobbying local officials to change the law. In September 2008, the county Board of Supervisors voted against legalizing needle exchange programs over the recommendation of county health officials.