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Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

For Immediate Release

Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

SAN FRANCISCO – Following the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, the Grassroots Law Project (GLP) today joined Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to bar law enforcement from using Ketamine to subdue and restrain citizens. This comes after Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen sent a letter to Gov. Polis on July 29, urging him to block usage of the analgesic. Similarly, Black Lives Matter activists have also questioned use of the substance.

“Although I am a Councilwoman, I have been unsuccessful in garnering clear support of this issue from other city leadership,” said Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in her letter to the governor. “In fact, there are continuing efforts to silence and intimidate me, but I am committed to saving lives and doing my part to prevent the grief that Elijah McClain’s mother experiences each day.”

In 2.5 years, medics in Colorado administered ketamine to 902 people, according to KUNC. Relatedly, they found that 17% of Ketamine injections result in complication and that 1 in 5 victims must be intubated. The substance is so harmful that the American Society of Anesthesiologists and its vice president, Dr. Randall Clark, warned on July 15, 2020 that they “firmly opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.” More than 2 million people signed a petition urging law enforcement to cease using the fatal substance.

On July 21, KUNC reported that “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued waivers allowing doctors to oversee 101 agencies that are approved to use ketamine for excited delirium.”

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

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