Governor Phil Murphy quickly weighed in by criticizing the city’s local leadership.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Atlantic City Council decision to close the city’s syringe access program,” Murphy tweeted. “This action will endanger some of the city’s most at-risk residents and contradicts my Administration’s comprehensive, data-driven strategy to end the opioid crisis.”
Murphy’s opinion nevertheless appeared to represent the minority opinion inside A.C.
“Ending the needle exchange program in Atlantic City is a step forward in our revitalization,” Councilman Jesse Kurtz (R-6th Ward) told Save Jersey. “AC cannot thrive while having an exclusive monopoly on social services like the needle exchange. The pressure from the state and other out-of-towners should be directed at establishing a new framework for dealing with problems where they are, not shipping them to Atlantic City. “