Good Samaritan Law Waiting Final Approval From Cuomo
Albany, NY (WIBX) – A measure to protect an individual seeking treatment for a person experiencing an accidental drug overdose passed in both state houses yesterday. Senator John DeFrancisco, (R-C-I, Syracuse) the sponsor of the bill, says its aim is to safe more lives. The “Good Samaritan Law” addresses the fear of prosecution, which DeFrancisco says is the primary reason people do not call 911 or go to the hospital for an overdose.
The legislation aims to limit the use of evidence law enforcement officials can collect and use when someone seeks treatment for themselves or another individual. The bills targets Possession of a Controlled substance, Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia and Alcohol.
In a released statement DeFrancisco said, “This bill doesn’t condone drug use, but rather, acknowledges the importance of helping a victim and spurring a response from witnesses that may help protect the well-being of another person.” Officials say overdose is the number one cause of accidental death in the state, and even exceeds traffic fatalities. Also, according to DeFrancisco, in 2008, over 1,350 people died from accidental drug overdoses–an increase of more than 60 percent when compared to 1999 figures. The Good Samaritan Law is now headed to Governor Cuomo for final approval or veto.