State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today introduced the Overdose Immunity Law, a bill to expand Ohio’s 2016 Good Samaritan law to provide immunity from prosecution for certain drug offenses when a person obtains medical assistance for a drug overdose.
“When someone is afraid of getting in trouble by the law, that may deter them from seeking medical help that may save their life as well as others,” said Rep. Galonski. “It is vitally important that we protect the lives of those struggling with addiction and give them the opportunity to seek medical help in a time of need without fear of prosecution.”
Current law is strictly limited to immunity from prosecution for the possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. Galonski’s bill would expand immunity to apply to all the crimes of the overdose, including any item necessary to ingest the controlled substances, such as hypodermic needles, spoons or pipes.
“Clarification is essential due to the court’s interpretation of statute,” added Galonski. “By expanding this immunity to all crimes of the overdose, Ohioans will finally be protected when seeking medical guidance for a drug overdose. This commonsense fix will right this legislation that has not been helping people the way it was meant to.”
Galonski’s proposal currently awaits a bill number and committee assignment at the Ohio House.