[JURIST] New Mexico [JURIST news archive] Gov. Bill Richardson (D) [official website] has signed into law a groundbreaking bill [PDF text] designed to promote drug overdose reporting by granting limited immunity from drug possession charges for those drug users, family members and acquaintances who make the 911 call. The measure is the first such legislation to be adopted by any US state. Richardson, who is currently seeking the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, said in statement earlier this week:
If we can encourage people to save themselves or others from a drug-related death or trauma, then we should do that. This bill will encourage families and friends of addicts to seek medical care and prevent their loved one from dying.In 2005, New Mexico reported more than 300 unintentional deaths from overdoses of illicit or prescription drugs, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services [official website; JURIST news archive].
This is the second drug-related bill signed into law in New Mexico this week. On Monday, Gov. Robinson signed [JURIST report] the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, which legalized the use of medical marijuana [JURIST news archive] for treatment of certain conditions and symptoms. AP has more.