Earlier today at Turning Point, an addiction center in Paterson, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, symbolically signed into law the Overdose Protection Act, a law that will grant immunity to drug overdose victims and their accomplices. During the event Mr Christie said, “It encourages witnesses and victims of overdose to act without fear of arrest or prosecution.”
Prior to this law, if an individual called the authorities seeking for help with an overdose victim, the police and ambulance would respond; however, both the overdoser and the caller would be arrested if they were found fiddling with illegal drugs. And after the arrest, prosecuted, and possibly sent to prison or fined.
In the ceremony were parents and family members of victims who died in incidents of drug overdose; many of them expressed their support of the new law by saying, had this law been passed a year ago, their loved ones: son, daughter, sister, brother, would have still be alive.
Jon Bon Jovi, the New Jersey rock legend, who was at the ceremony praised Mr Christie, and hoped the bills would save countless lives, never once mentioning his daughter and her heroin overdose. Six months earlier Mr Christie vetoed the same bill after it passed through the New Jersey General Assembly, maybe Mr Bon Jovi somehow persuaded the governor — whatever is the cause for the shift, the bill will certainly save many lives.
Mr Christie had a message for the youths, he said, “The leaders of this state want you to save a life first, and not worry about anything else thereafter.”