California legislators have sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown to exempt drug users from prosecution if they seek medical help, reports the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers from both parties said the measure was necessary to curb what studies show is a rise of overdose deaths in California. Drug users often do not seek help for fear of prosecution, they contended.
The proposal by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano stipulates that it is not a crime to be high or possess illegal drugs or paraphernalia when seeking medical assistance. “I’d rather have my kid around to yell at than to attend his funeral,” he said. The bill was among nearly 180 measures acted on yesterday as lawmakers entered the final week of their session.