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Advocates launch campaign for expanded Maine ‘Good Samaritan Law’

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 11:53 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A group of advocates held a virtual campaign launch Tuesday to support an expanded Good Samaritan Law in Maine.

Maine’s current Good Samaritan Law, signed by Governor Mills in 2019, protects people reporting or experiencing a drug-related emergency from certain criminal liability.

LD 1862 will go before the Maine legislature as “An Act to Strengthen Maine’s Good Samaritan Laws Concerning Drug-Related Medical Assistance.”

The bill would protect anyone at the scene of an overdose from certain law violations, including non-violent crimes, as well as probation and bail violations.

Presenters said studies show that emergency calls are more likely if people are aware of the law.

”This law is too weak to protect most of my community members, and drug-using communities are very well-aware of it,” said Courtney Allen, the policy director at Maine Recovery Advocacy Project. “We must pass a Good Samaritan law that is clear and concise, and able to be executed out to drug-using communities that they understand, and that they trust.”

Panelists suggested that those in support take action by contacting their local lawmakers, or testify at the upcoming public hearing.

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