Tweak the Law, Save Lives

Most of you who read the things I write know that my pet issue is drug prohibition. I opposed prohibition and subjected myself to pretty intense ridicule when I was a police officer not because I think people should be using dangerous drugs…   but because people do use dangerous drugs and prohibition has proven to be an abject failure in stopping it.

One idea that has been bouncing around in my head for some time is getting involved in the political process to try and advocate for both a law which would encourage minors who have used alcohol irresponsibly and all people who have used dangerous drugs to seek medical attention if needed.  A person having an overdose of alcohol or drugs presently could be (and should be) afraid to call for medical assistance, as when the EMT’s arrive, so does the criminal justice system.

Overdose deaths do not happen instantly…  especially in the case of opiates.  They can and should be prevented.

I know a good way.  Let’s try and turn New Hampshire into the 3rd state in the nation which grants limited criminal immunity to people requesting medical assistance for alcohol and drug overdoses.  I whipped up a sample law to do such a thing and I am in the process of speaking with medical organizations, legislators, and activists to see if I can get support for it.

Here’s my sample proposal:

AMEND CHAPTER 106-H BY ADDING THE FOLLOWING:

Section 106-H:18 – Limited Immunity for Drug and Alcohol Overdose Emergency

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary:

I.   A person acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug or alcohol-related overdose shall
not be subject to arrest or prosecution for possession of a controlled substance or alcohol if the evidence for the charge of
possession of a controlled substance or alcohol was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance.

II.  A person who experiences a drug or alcohol-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance shall not be subject
to arrest or prosecution for possession of a controlled substance or alcohol if the evidence for the charge of possession of
a controlled substance or alcohol was obtained as a result of the overdose and the need for medical assistance.

III. The immunity provided by this section shall not be grounds for suppression of evidence in any other criminal proceeding.

Would you support such an inside-the-system change?  Washington State did it.

I welcome your critique, good or bad. 😀

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