Bill to curb overdose deaths
AB 472 would protect drug users seeking medical help from criminal prosecution
A bill introduced by state lawmakers Aug. 27 would protect drug users seeking medical help from criminal prosecution.
Assembly Bill 472 was proposed by Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and has received support from both parties as legislators attempt to curb an uptick in overdose deaths in California, according to the Los Angeles Times. Proponents of the law maintain many drug users are discouraged from seeking addiction treatment out of fear of criminal charges. The bill stipulates being high or possessing drugs or paraphernalia is not illegal when actively looking for help.
AB 472, which was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for review, would not affect laws prohibiting the selling, providing, giving or exchanging of drugs, or forcible administration of drugs against a person’s will.
“I’d rather have my kid around to yell at than attend his funeral,” Ammiano said.