Backers Push Good Samaritan Law to Save Drug Users

911 callers don't risk arrest themselves
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2010 1:35 PM CDT
A drug addict inject himself with heroin.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

(Newser) – Good Samaritan laws are designed to make sure people who OD on drugs get help. The idea is to shield callers to 911 who report someone in trouble from getting arrested themselves, Newsweek reports in a look at the push for the laws. So far, Washington state and New Mexico have the legislation in place, and California, New York, and Massachusetts are considering it.

Backing up proponents' arguments is a slew of cases from around the nation in which people were left to die because their companions were afraid to call police. “These laws are designed to do no more than get that panicking person to the phone as quickly as possible and try to save a life,” says one advocate. Illinois rejected a similar law after opponents depicted it as soft on crime.
(Read more Good Samaritan stories.)

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