Maine Lawmakers Considering 'Good Samaritan' Law For Drug Cases

Apr 12, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Legislation that would provide criminal immunity for people calling 9-1-1 to report drug overdoses has support from civil liberties advocates in Maine. But some law enforcement officials say the bill goes too far. 

Supporters say a person who has drugs or paraphernalia in their possession might be reluctant to summon help for another person who has overdosed for fear that they might be arrested when police arrive.

"Drug use is a public health issue and should be treated as such. Similar good Samaritan laws have been passed all over the country,” said Oamshri Amarasingham, advocacy directory for the ACLU of Maine.

The Maine State Police is opposing the proposal.  They argue it is too broad and would have the unintended consequence of hampering prosecution of those that should be arrested.