Governor Signs 911 Good Samaritan Legislation

New law, AB 472, provides limited immunity to those who call 911 to report a drug overdose.

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the 911 Good Samaritan legislation to reduce drug overdose deaths, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

The passage of the bill, created by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will provide limited immunity for low-level drug law violations to those who call 911 during a drug overdose.

In an effort to reduce the number of preventable drug-related deaths, AB 472, the 911 Good Samaritan bill, passed with bipartisan support and will become a law on January 1, 2013. The passage of the law will make California the tenth state in the country to ensure that witnesses who seek help in an overdose won't face fear of arrest for possession of small amounts of illegal substances, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, senior policy advocate for the ACLU of California said the passage of the legislation is a victory for the state of California.

"The message is loud and clear: call for help in case of an overdose," Dooley Sammuli said in a statement.

California will become the largest state to enact legislation aimed at protecting witnesses who call 911 in the event of an overdose, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

— Bay City News

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