Medical Amnesty Law Making the Rounds

WSB has the story of a Georgia State Law student lobbying for a law that would provide immunity from prosecution to those who call in overdoses.

Justin Leef told Channel 2’s Tom Regan his best friend from childhood died after injecting heroin in the back of a car in 2011. He said 21-year-old Zack Elliot may have survived if those using drugs with him called for help or got him to a hospital. 

“You have a very small window in which to call. In that moment, you are very fearful that something is going to happen to you. This bill would take away that worry that, ‘I’m going to ruin their life because they’re in possession of drugs, or I’m going to ruin my life,'” said Leef. 

Senator Renee Unterman is working on a bill this year to provide that immunity. These laws are frequently referred to as “Good Samaritan 911”.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted policies to provide limited immunity from arrest or prosecution for minor drug law violations for people who summon help at the scene of an overdose. New Mexico was the first state to pass such a policy and has been joined in recent years by CaliforniaColoradoNew JerseyNew YorkRhode IslandIllinoisFloridaMassachusettsConnecticutNorth Carolina,VermontDelaware and Washington.


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