Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Christie: What about the not-so-good samaritans?

Governor explains veto of bill to encourage 911 calls in drug overdose cases

Christie: What about the not-so-good samaritans?

Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the "911 Good Samaritan" bill because it would have let drug dealers "off the hook."

The New Jersey govemor's veto surprised and dismayed the Drug Policy Alliance and other supporters statewide (read my column here). The law would have exempted people who participate in or witness illegal drug use from criminal liability after summoning emergency help for an overdose victim.

"It's one of these things that sound good in the abstract," the governor told a town hall-style meeting Thursday in Mount Laurel. "How about if they're not a good samaritan? How about if  they're the (person) who supplied the drugs? That was my problem with the bill."

Christie supports "harm reduction" strategies, including treatment for low-level offenders who also are addicts.  "What I'm not willing to do is to give is to give people who commit harm to other people a free pass just because they picked up the telephone," he said. "

"The legislature...has got to make the bill better...If they make the bill better, I'll be happy to consider signing it."

 

 

Kevin Riordan Inquirer Columnist
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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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