Grand Jury Announces Release of Report on Drugs and Sharps Disposal

Based on an article in the Thousand Oaks Acorn reporting a 2016 incident where a senior deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office was caught stealing drugs on site from a law enforcement drug disposal bin, the 2018-2019 Ventura County Grand Jury opened an investigation into drug disposal bins at law enforcement agencies in Ventura County.

The Grand Jury found that County residents are generally poorly informed about the existing drug disposal bin program(s) and drug disposal procedures in the County. The Grand Jury also found discrepancy between the amount and type of drugs Ventura County Behavioral Health reports being collected and the amount and type of drugs the Sheriff’s Office actually collects.

On September 30, 2018, SB 212 Solid Waste: Pharmaceuticals and Sharps Waste Stewardship was signed into law in California. The bill calls for manufacturers or distributors (stewards) of pharmaceuticals to fund collection and disposal programs for drugs and sharps and implement the bill’s provisions by January 1, 2021.

To increase the effectiveness of Ventura County’s current drug disposal program(s), the Grand Jury recommends that the Board of Supervisors develop a uniform coordinated program for drug and sharps disposal that is compliant with SB 212.

The Grand Jury also recommends that all law enforcement agencies update their websites and other forms of communication to better inform the public about their existing drug- disposal programs.

The public is invited to review the entire report. It can be accessed at www.ventura.org/grand-jury; click on the Annual Reports tab and consult “Fiscal Year 2018-2019.”


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