Anyone in Michigan may report drug overdoses without fear of being prosecuted for illegal possession or use under legislation signed by Governor Rick Snyder. The House voted last month to exempt people of any age from prosecution if they report an overdose from any illegal substance or they require medical assistance themselves. In a statement following Thursday’s signing, Snyder says it’s “another powerful tool in the efforts to fight prescription drug and opioid abuse across our state.”
Legislation from Representative Al Pscholka of Stevensville was already law to protect people under 21 from charges when a medical emergency is reported that arises from prescription drug or painkiller abuse. He worked with Democrat Sam Singh of East Lansing on the expansion. Supporters say the legislation will encourage people to call 911 and get help rather than be afraid of being charged criminally. It was brought about by the prescription drug overdose death of 16-year-old Mason Mizwicki of Watervliet at a New Year’s Eve party.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.