Government sues nonprofit for attempt at making 'consumption' rooms where heroin could be used

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Feb 18, 2019

PHILADELPHIA — The United States of America is suing a nonprofit corporation, citing alleged unlawful prescription of controlled substances.

The United States filed a complaint on Feb. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Safehouse and Jeannette Bowles, alleging violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 9, 2018, U.S. Attorney William McSwain advised defendant that its plan to establish and operate one or more sites in Philadelphia where, among other things, intravenous drug users would be permitted to use illegal controlled substances, primarily, heroin and fentanyl, in “consumption rooms” under medical supervision violates the federal law. 

While publicly stating that the consumption rooms would not violate federal law, defendants are alleged to have continued to have possession of heroin and fentanyl, which are controlled substances that are not FDA-approved for the treatment of opioid addiction. 

The plaintiffs holds Safehouse and Jeannette Bowles responsible because the defendants allegedly intended to manage and control one or more "consumption rooms" in Philadelphia with the knowledge of providing a place for drugs users to use controlled substances, such as heroin and fentanyl, unlawfully.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek declaratory judgment for the unlawful use of controlled substances. They are represented by U.S. Attorney William McSwain.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 2:19-cv-00519-GAM.

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