Senate passes bill providing overdose immunity

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ST. PAUL — A bill passed by the Minnesota Senate provides immunity for drug users who overdose and those who call 911 for help.

But, the legislation has run into some opposition from law enforcement officials and prosecutors who fear the immunity provision could protect drug dealers and other criminals.

The bill which generated little debate Tuesday in the Senate allows first responders and law enforcement officers to administer Narcan, a drug that quickly counteracts the effects of a heroin overdose. The legislation was proposed in response to the growing number of heroin overdoses in the state.

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Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said the provision offering immunity goes “too far to the other side” and that he may not have his deputies carry the lifesaving drug as a result.