Bill OK’d to offer immunity for reporting drug overdose

Posted at 12:43 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 12:55:54-05

LANSING, Mich.  — People under age 21 could avoid criminal charges when reporting a prescription drug overdose under legislation nearing final passage in Michigan.

The bill exempts people age 20 and younger from prosecution for illegally using painkillers and other prescription drugs if a health emergency is reported to authorities.

The Senate approved the legislation Wednesday. The House, which previously passed the bill, is expected to send it to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.

Michigan Rep.  Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, introduced the legislation  in September after 16-year-old Mason Mizwicki died from an apparent prescription drug overdose while he was at a New Year’s Eve ‘skittles’ party.  Mizwicki, a Watervliet junior, consumed a lethal dose of methadone and was found dead Jan. 1.

FOX 17’s previous report: 

In wake of her son's death, Lori Mizwicki said her family is determined to educate others about the dangers of drug abuse and the growing use among young people.

The legislation would expand the state's current 'Good Samaritan' law, which protects minors in alcohol-related medical emergencies. It's a law that could've been the difference between life and death for Mason, Lori Mizwicki told FOX 17.

Some feel the criminal immunity should apply to all ages and heroin and cocaine overdoses.

Michigan already has a "Good Samaritan" exemption for minors assisting someone in danger from alcohol intoxication.

The Associated Press contributed to this report