The Rhode Island Medical Society, Protect Families First, and the ACLU of Rhode Island issued the following statement on the passage of Good Samaritan Legislation by the Rhode Island Senate:
"We applaud, and are deeply grateful to, the Senate for its quick action today in making the reinstatement of the Good Samaritan law the legislative priority of the first week.
"Reinstating this law will save lives, and is an essential step in addressing the dire overdose epidemic Rhode Island is grappling with. Furthermore, it is a step in the right direction of how we should address drug use and addiction. For too long we have made it the task of the criminal justice system to address these issues, and this approach has been costly, ineffective, and destructive. It's time that we handle drug use and addiction as a public health and medical issue and put saving lives above making arrests. The Good Samaritan bill makes major strides towards that goal by giving people in the community greater confidence that they will not be arrested if they seek medical care.
"In that regard, we are hopeful that in considering this legislation next week, the House will not only pass it speedily but will also consider expanding it to cover other drug-related offenses as well."
Steve DeToy, Rhode Island Medical Society
Rebecca McGoldrick, Protect Families First
Steven Brown, ACLU of Rhode Island