A Canadian study recently revealed that 46% drug users who had witnessed someone experiencing an overdose either called 911 and immediately left the scene or didn’t call at all for fear of criminal charges related to drug possession. Now, thanks to a watershed drug safety bill, Bill C-224, bystanders will no longer have to worry about those issues and can call 911 without fear of repercussion.
Bill C-224, otherwise known as the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Law is aimed at saving lives and preventing overdoses and marks another progressive step forward for drug legislation everywhere. Per Ron McKinnon, the BC Liberal MP who tabled the bill, C-224 “applies to the people that make the call, the people who stick around that help the victim and the victim – him or herself.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, also added that “during an overdose, a call to 911 can often be the difference between life and death. We hope that this new law, and the legal protection it offers, will help encourage those who experience or witness an overdose to make that important call, and save a life.”
Hopefully, this bill passing into existence will encourage people to report and call for health in the events of medical emergencies – regardless of whether criminically controlled substances are present or not. We also hope to see forward-thinking laws like this enacted in the United States and other countries soon.