With about 10 deaths a day from substance abuse in the state, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced legislation to shield the victim and anyone who assists the victim from drug possession and for being under the influence when seeking medical assistance, the L.A. Times reports.
Ammiano is a progressive voice in California's drug policy, and has gone on record for his support of medical marijuana and questioned federal prosecutors for their role in shutting down dispensaries.
"I'd rather have my kid around to yell at than to attend his funeral," Ammiano said.
The bill, Assembly Bill 472, has passed both the California Assembly and Senate. Surprisingly, the measure has drawn support from law-and-order minded Republicans as well.
Stopthedrugwar.org has quoted Republican Assemblyman Donald Wagner as saying, "This is not going soft on crime." He added that he does not approve of drug use, but the bill is necessary to "overlook some indiscretions for the greater good."
The site also has Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen, also a Republican, going on record with this: "It’s critically important to save lives. This bill doesn’t condone drug behavior."