Proposed Md. Bill Hopes To Curb Drug/Alcohol Deaths In Minors - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Proposed Md. Bill Hopes To Curb Drug/Alcohol Deaths In Minors

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MARYLAND - Should a minor be punished for trying to get help for someone in a drug related medical emergency?

For two Maryland lawmakers, the answer is "no."

"What we want to do is create an environment where young people will do the right thing and call for emergency services right away, without the fear of getting in trouble," says Del. Jeannie Haddaway of Talbot County.

Haddaway and Del. Addie Eckardt from Dorchester County submitted a Good Samaritan Bill into the 2014 General Assembly, which, if passed, would allow minors to report drug-related emergencies without being prosecuted.  

Since the June 2013 death of Easton teen Sam Cross, who as reportedly strangled after a night out with friends, where the drug LSD was apparently a factor, the Talbot County community has rallied with local agencies to tackle a drug problem in the county.

WMDT spoke to a member of the Talbot Partnership during a meeting last August.  

"Those tragedies have certainly led to more awareness, more interest, more concern," says Gary Pearce with the Talbot Partnership.

The bill isn't a legal loophole for underage criminals, stating:

This subsection does not apply to a person who provided, sold, gave, or exchanged for other goods or services the alcohol or drugs causing the medical emergency to the person for whom medical assistance is sought.

"It's not that we don't want people to be punished for breaking the law," says Haddaway, "if we can get this in place and save even one young person's life, it will be worth it."

This proposed legislation, House Bill 342, is set to be heard in the Maryland House of Delegates on February 11th.

For the full text of the bill, CLICK HERE.

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