Sunday, May 3, 2015

NJ's Vitale to sponsor "Good Samaritan" legislation

State Senator seeks to prevent fatal overdoses

NJ's Vitale to sponsor "Good Samaritan" legislation

The vice-chairman of the New Jersey Senate’s health and human services committee will sponsor the “911 Good Samaritan” legislation I wrote about in today’s column.

Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Woodbridge Democrat, says such a measure “will literally save lives” of overdose victims by protecting witnesses from prosecution and encouraging them to summon help.

The nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) advocates such a measure; a similar state law went into effect Sept. 18 in New York.

“Calling 911 should never be a crime,” says Roseanne Scotti, director of the New Jersey DPA. “A Good Samaritan law will encourage people to get help.”

Since 2004, nearly 6,000 New Jerseyans have overdosed on drugs.

 

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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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