News…from the Illinois House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
November 30, 2011
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Phone: (773) 784-2002
Legislation to Encourage Drug Overdose Victims to Seek Medical Help Heads to the Governor’s Desk
CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, the Illinois state Senate concurred with the legislation authored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) that would offer limited legal protection to those seeking emergency medical help for someone suffering from a drug overdose.
“Drug prevention should always be our first goal, and this legislation offers an important second chance for someone whose life is in danger to take the first step towards recovery,” Cassidy said, who passed the bill through the House during the first week of the fall veto session. “This legislation is not about letting drug dealers off the hook, it is about protecting the lives of young people who need help.”
Senate Bill 1701 offers limited immunity for violations of possession of drugs in small amounts for a person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone overdosing. Individuals may avoid prosecution of a Class 4 felony if they are seeking or obtaining emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose, or are themselves experiencing an overdose.
Cassidy sponsored the legislation to address the rise in young people dying from drug overdoses. To prevent the law from being abused by drug dealers, there are strict limitations to the amount of controlled substances an individual can possess and no immunity is provided for drug sales.
“In Illinois, a young person is more likely to die from a drug overdose than from a car accident,” Cassidy said. “This legislation has the potential to save many lives and it is my hope that the governor will quickly sign SB 1701 into law so that we can save young lives.”
Cassidy’s legislation will now be sent to the governor for his consideration. For more information on Senate Bill 1701, please contact Rep. Cassidy’s full-time constituent service office at (773) 784-2002 or at RepCassidy@gmail.com.
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