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.


To read more from the metro columnists, go to www.philly.com/blinq