Activists are hoping to persuade Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and state lawmakers to allow drug user to shoot up at supervised injection sites in Massachusetts.
Parents who have lost children to the opioid epidemic rallied Monday at the State House.
"There is no way I can express to you, or to Gov. Baker, what it's like to bury a child," said Lynn Wencus.
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"We need action right away," activists chanted on the steps of the State House.
A legislative commission in February recommended that lawmakers approve the creation of one or more supervised injection sites where individuals could inject drugs obtained elsewhere. Health care professionals would be on hand to prevent fatal overdoses.
Baker has brushed aside the idea, saying the proposal is illegal under federal law.
Protest organizers say Baker has to abandon what they describe as his "ideological opposition" to the sites and pursue legislation.
The U.S. currently has no publicly sanctioned safe injection facilities. But Boston Mayor Marty Walsh voiced his support for such facilities in Canada after visiting them earlier this year.
"If and when we do get safe injection sites, I think that the cities and states should have more authority in running them, so I think there's a whole bunch of questions still out there," Walsh said.