Posted by: Mothers Against Teen Violence | February 14, 2011

Texas Needs a Good Samaritan Law

As you may know, the 82nd Texas Legislature is underway in Austin. MATV’s four-pronged legislative agenda starts with a proposal for a Good Samaritan Law.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, between 1999 and 2007, overdose deaths in Texas increased by more than 250 percent. In fact, drug overdose is the third-leading cause of injury related death in Texas, behind car crashes and suicide. Almost one-third of the victims were either teens or young adults (ages 15-34). Our proposal would allow overdose victims or individuals witnessing an overdose to call 911 without the fear of being prosecuted for drug possession.
The passage of a Good Sam law costs nothing– and in fact, could save money through the reduced need for incarceration and criminal justice costs.
New Mexico and Washington have already enacted Good Sam laws. Similar life-saving legislation is pending in several states across the country, including California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Supporting a Good Sam Law is consistent with our belief that we must have a “public health” approach to drug abuse and addiction based on scientific
research, emphasizing harm reduction and saving lives over punishment.
Make it your business to learn about this proposal and how it could save lives in Texas. Contact us or attend our monthly Drug Policy Discussion Group.

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Responses

  1. In my city we are currently having a rash of teenage deaths from ecstasy. Jurisdictions near us have declared an amnesty which allows individuals to surrender this drug to police no questions asked. In our city the local police declared that there would be no amnesty. It is unfortunate when the need for convictions outweighs the safety of our youth.


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