Missouri House passes bill offering immunity for certain overdose cases

2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago April 11, 2017 Apr 11, 2017 Tuesday, April 11 2017 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
By: Craig White and Max Cotton, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri House passed a bill that would grant immunity to people carrying small amounts of drugs if they seek medical help for an overdose.

House Bill 294 passed the House with a 134-21 vote on Monday. If someone was experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or someone was trying to help a person experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose, they could contact emergency services and not face punishment. 

Rep. Steve Lynch, R-Waynesville, is the bill’s sponsor. He says the bill is all about saving lives by taking away the fear of punishment away so people will call emergency services.

"They would be calling in a very limited amount of situations, very narrow set, that I can call and not be arrested or prosecuted if I only have a small amount of drugs on me or if I'm under the influence," Lynch said.

Lynch calls the bill "Bailey and Cody's Law" after two young adults who died from drug overdoses because of friends who were afraid to call emergency services. Their families shared their stories with Rep. Lynch.

"You could change those names to so many because it happens a lot more than I think people realize that it does," Lynch said. "There is a real fear that they're going to be arrested if they call, so they either just take someone close to the emergency center, they may take them back home, or when it comes to drug overdoses in particular, you don't have an unlimited amount of time before you can save your life, so time counts."

Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake St. Louis, is one of the House members who opposed the bill, saying opioid abusers should not get a free pass.

“What you’re doing is you’re telling abusers you can keep pushing the limit because help is on the way,” Hill said. “Now we’re finding the same abusers are now using more and pushing their limits more because they know they can be on their 20th or 21st or 22nd delivery of Narcan. 

Hill previously worked as a task force officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He says the state should be diverting dollars into treatment programs and drug courts.

"This legislature, they're voting with their hearts," Hill said. "It sounds good, we should do this, but they don't understand that they're compounding the problem."

The Missouri Division of Behavioral Health reports that opioid deaths in Missouri has been on the rise since the first reported year of 1999. The most recent data from 2014 says Missouri has 9.3 deaths per 100,000 from opioids, which is above the national average 5.9 deaths per 100,000. Between 1999 and 2014, opioid-related deaths have increased 7.6 times for females and 7.2 times for young adults aged 25 to 34.

37 states have some form of Good Samaritan law or 911 drug immunity law according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

The bill now needs to clear the Senate before going to Gov. Eric Greitens to be signed into law.

More News

Grid
List
ASHLAND — Search and rescue crews found a woman in Cedar Creek this afternoon after a kayaking accident. She was... More >>
1 hour ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 11:20:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease isn't letting any limitations from the incurable disease... More >>
3 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:45:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' involved and sometimes aggressive leadership style is getting mixed reviews from... More >>
3 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:41:12 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College fashion design, marketing, management and communication students hosted the 73rd annual student design fashion show, called... More >>
4 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:12:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON — The city of Fulton is teaming up with William Woods University Chemistry Professor Joe Kyger to figure out... More >>
4 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:09:23 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — First responders rescued three families from their homes in Callaway County Saturday during floods that swept through... More >>
4 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:47:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON — Emergency officials responded to a fatal crash near the intersection of State Route O and State Route UU... More >>
6 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:23:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Despite non-ideal weather conditions, people gathered at MU Saturday afternoon as a part of a nationwide climate change... More >>
7 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 4:46:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Ever wonder what to do with your unused prescription drugs? The annual 'Drug Take Back Day' helps... More >>
8 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Police officers responded to an armed robbery at Check Into Cash Saturday afternoon. According to a release... More >>
8 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:27:00 PM CDT in News
MID-MISSOURI — Flooding caused road closures on Saturday. KOMU 8 News viewers shared photos and videos of what they saw.... More >>
9 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Office of Emergency Management has reported numerous road closures due to flooding Saturday. ... More >>
10 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:32:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing... More >>
13 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:50:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has bought a lakeside house in a resort community west of St. Louis.... More >>
15 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:14:38 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The maternal grandmother of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were found in a pigsty... More >>
15 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:09:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A free carnival-style event Saturday aims to combine fun with education about childhood safety and accident prevention. The... More >>
16 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:44:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON — Equestrian students at William Woods University have the unique opportunity to learn from a living legend April 28-30.... More >>
18 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:53:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — According to a Columbia Police Department press release, officers arrested a suspect wanted by the St. Louis Police... More >>
20 hours ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 4:12:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
1am 54°
2am 56°
3am 57°
4am 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
12:00a
Chatroom
1:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Dark Blue
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld