Life Is Holy –
April 13, 2019 – Safehouse, in response, assembled a team of a dozen pro bono lawyers and earlier this month counter-sued the government in federal court in Philadelphia, setting up a dispute that legal experts say has the potential to test the limits of the law. The Safehouse legal team maintains that drug laws from the 1980s were never meant to apply to a medical facility in the midst of a modern public health crisis. “Safehouse is nothing like a ‘crack house’ or drug-fueled ‘rave.’ Nor is Safehouse established ‘for the purpose’ of unlawful drug use,” Safehouse lawyer Ilana Eisenstein asserted in the filing, writing that the federal law cited by prosecutors, the Controlled Substances Act “does not regulate medical treatment or the practice of medicine.”
The nonprofit’s lawyers also argue in court documents that shutting down its proposed injection sites would violate the group’s Judeo-Christian convictions about “preserving life,” thus violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 federal law that protects people from being prevented from exercising their faith.