House unanimously approves Rep. Schoen's bill granting immunity for drug OD reporters

danschoen.jpg
Rep. Dan Schoen
Today, in a rare unanimous vote, the House approved Rep. Dan Schoen's bill granting immunity from prosecution to those who report drug overdoses.

The legislation is meant to prevent tragedies like one that unfolded recently in Mankato, where 17-year-old Chloe Moses died after overdosing on synthetic drugs. Though Moses was in distress, her boyfriend and another person who was hanging out didn't call 911. Paramedics weren't called to the scene until Moses's mother came out from work and found her having a seizure. She was pulled off life support three days later.

See also:
Teenager charged with murder following friend's synthetic drug overdose

Schoen, a DFLer from Cottage Grove, is a police officer.

"In all my years responding to these calls for help, I've never been part of the prosecution of someone who has called," Schoen tells us. "But people have a fear they will get in trouble if they call."

Exempted are cases where a person reporting an overdose is found to have more than three grams of drugs in their possession.

"That's quite a bit of drugs -- it's like 30 of the little balloons that heroin users have," Schoen says. "These are felonies we're providing immunity for but the bottom line is we value life more than we do punishment."

Asked why the three-gram limit was set, Schoen says, "If there's a big bundle there are other issues that are problematic, and we had issues with law enforcement and prosecutors."

The Senate already passed a version of the bill by a unanimous vote, so suffice it to say there's little doubt Gov. Mark Dayton will sign it into law.

"This has been a really emotional bill for me to carry," Schoen says. "There's a lot of people in this body that have come to me personally with family stories and a personal connection to addiction through families and friends. There's been a lot of tears shed in my office about the good this bill could've done for other families."

"Everybody is somebody's kid," Schoen says. "Let's not leave people for dead."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

The Vulcans would find this logical. Live long and prosper.

Molly Holcombe Booton
Molly Holcombe Booton

Great share, Courtney Henderson! It was an amazing day! Steve's Law will save lives!

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

I hope every voter notes the difference between a government run by the DFL and one run by Republicans.   Notice that the DFL doesn't waste time with hating gay people bills or bills that try to make it harder for the people to vote.    Vote DFL.   Minnesota doesn't need any of those stupid bigot Republicans.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

I wish all cops were as cool as  Rep. Dan Schoen.   What a hero.  Finally some sanity in the war on drugs.  

Jennifer Dahn
Jennifer Dahn

Awesome, I like this idea. It will save a ton of lives.

Sherman Doe
Sherman Doe

Good. Saving lives is more important than filling jail cells. This is a win for logic.

laxx1559
laxx1559

FINALLY! I can't think of how many parties I have been to when I was underage, and someone was clearly too messed up and unresponsive due to drugs or alcohol, or both.  Kids get scared to call the paramedics because they don't want to get in trouble with the police.  There have been NUMEROUS stories exactly like this where kids die ALL the time.  Finally some common sense!

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...