Legislature OKs bill to shield drug users when 911 is called

(Photo supplied/Flickr Creative Commons)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Anyone in Michigan could report drug overdoses without fear of being prosecuted for illegal possession or use under legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.

The House voted 105-1 Tuesday to exempt people of any age from prosecution if they report an overdose from any illegal substance or they require medical assistance themselves.

Michigan law already protects people under 21 from charges when a medical emergency is reported that arises from prescription drug or painkiller abuse.

Supporters say the legislation will encourage people to call 911 and get help rather than be afraid of being charged criminally.

Drug overdose deaths in Michigan increased by 14 percent to more than 1,700 in 2014, the last year for which data is available.

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