The ultimate hot-button issue?

I missed Kerry Healey's anti-syringe legalization press conference because I was hanging around the governor's office, watching Ali Noorani & co. whack the governor for his proposal to turn state police into immigration watchdogs. But here, courtesy of a Healey press release, is a look at how the LG is framing the issue:
Healey said the exposure of dirty needles in Massachusetts is a real and serious concern for parents across the Commonwealth.  Just last week, 10 year-old Roarke Myers of Chelmsford was on a field trip with his fifth grade class from McCarthy Middle School when he came upon two hypodermic needles lying in the grass on the Boston Common.  Fortunately, the children had been warned by their parents that needles could be lying on the ground.  Roarke and his friends immediately notified their teacher.

“I am horrified that my son was put in danger because so many used hypodermic needles are being carelessly discarded and are simply lying around in the grass at our public parks,” said Roarke’s father, Bob.

Putting more needles on the streets also poses a threat to the general public’s safety, Healey said, noting recent robberies in the Worcester and Lowell areas where store clerks have been threatened with needles allegedly containing diseases.
Two points worth highlighting here:

1. Healey is making her argument using anecdotal evidence, not solid data. That's probably because, as I understand it, there's no proof that syringe legalization--currently in place in forty-seven states!--actually leads to the proliferation of discarded sharps in public spaces. (If anyone can cite a study showing I'm wrong, please do.)

2. This anecdotal evidence is still emotionally compelling. To my mind, nothing's freakier than a discarded sharp; I remember living above someone who seemed to be an IV drug user a few years back, and giving his used syringes a wide berth as I took out the trash. Creepy stuff. The pro-legalization forces have logic on their side, but they need to do their utmost to let the public know that legalization won't lead to a slew of needles littering parks and beaches.

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