EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Third Circuit Court has ruled that supervised injection sites where people can use illegal drugs in a safe environment would be a federal crime to operate.

The Philadelphia based non-profit Safehouse, who planned on opening the site, was told it would be a federal crime to operate “because Safehouse knows and intends that visitors to its consumption room will have a significant purpose of using illegal drugs,” the Department of Justice stated in a release Wednesday.

The site would have been the first of its kind in the nation.

“The Court’s decision re-affirms that ‘safe’ injection sites are a violation of federal law,” said Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “The Department supports efforts to curb the opioid crisis ravaging this country, but injection sites are not the solution. There are more productive ways to address drug abuse, and today’s ruling by the Third Circuit has confirmed that these sites are illegal and therefore not the answer.”

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen

The proposed site was seen as a violation of the Controlled Substances Act which “prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally maintaining a place for the purpose of illegal drug use” according to the DOJ.