The Paris mayor’s plan to set up new reception sites for drug users in the capital received government approval on Wednesday (September 15th). This project should help find a solution to the conflict between crack users and residents in the northeast of the city.

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Consumption room with lower risk in Paris, the day of its inauguration on October 11, 2016

Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday (September 15th) gave the green light to Paris PS mayor Anne Hidalgo to set up new reception sites for crack users but expressed a reservation on the one planned near a school in the 20th arrondissement.

“The creation of new places dedicated to reception and rest will be supported by the services of the State” subject to a suitable offer and location, writes the Prime Minister. Jean Castex wants to “offer consumers resting places and a quality weaning route” and continue the deployment of “the care offer” as part of the crack plan signed in 2019 between the State and the City.

While it does not explicitly mention the development of new lower-risk consumption rooms (SCMR), called “shooting rooms”, a subject of political tension with residents, the four new sites proposed at the end of August by Anne Hidalgo have “ vocation to be part of the experimental framework offered by the law of January 24, 2016, which the government will take the initiative to extend ”with the social security financing bill presented to the Council of Ministers on October 6.

The 2016 law authorized experimentation with SCMRs until 2022. Two structures of this type have since been launched, in Strasbourg and in Paris. The question divided even within the government, between the hard line adopted by the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin and that of the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, whose cabinet considered “positive” the results of the two structures.

Jean Castex, however, has reservations about one of these four new sites planned by the town hall, located a few meters from a school and on which the mayor of the twentieth arrondissement Eric Pliez must explain himself Wednesday evening with the residents.

Tuesday, the deputies Caroline Janvier (LREM) and Stéphane Viry (LR), in charge of a flash mission on the subject, judged the SMCR “useful and effective”, but underlined that it was necessary to privilege the opening of new rooms to the level of neighborhoods where consumers are used to consuming in the street.

Derived from cocaine, very addictive and inexpensive, crack causes strong tensions in the north-east of Paris, where street consumption causes serious nuisance for the neighborhood. In mid-May, the prefecture and town hall had agreed to bring together drug addicts in the north of the Eole gardens, a historic site of consumption on the border of the 18th and 19th arrondissements, in order to relieve the residents of the neighboring area of ​​Stalingrad.

But at the end of June, Anne Hidalgo had decided to put an end to this temporary situation by prohibiting crack users from entering the park, so that the inhabitants regain possession of it. Since then, “consumers and crack dealers have maintained their presence around the site and scenes of violence such as nuisance towards residents have not ceased,” underlines Jean Castex.

The Paris city hall decided on Wednesday June 30 to close access to the Eole garden to users of


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