Drug overdose immunity passed

A bill that provides legal immunity to anyone seeking help for a drug overdose was passed April 24.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist46' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Adam Morfeld'>Sen. Adam Morfeld</a>
Sen. Adam Morfeld

Under LB487, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld, a person experiencing a drug overdose and those present will receive legal immunity if they seek medical assistance and remain on the scene until assistance or police arrives and cooperate fully. The bill does not apply to any other drug-related offense such as the manufacturing or distribution of drugs.

No emergency responder or law enforcement officer can be held criminally or civilly liable for the treatment of a person experiencing a drug overdose, unless such person behaves in a willfully or grossly negligent manner.

The bill contains provisions of several bills, including LB296, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. John McCollister, which provides civil immunity to any physician, health care professional or pharmacist who prescribes or dispenses non-patient-specific medication for response to life-threatening asthma or anaphylaxis to a school, educational service unit or early childhood education program.

Provisions added from LB293, originally introduced by O’Neill Sen. Tyson Larson, add a synthetic opioid known as U-47700 as a Schedule I drug under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to mirror federal regulations.

Finally, provisions added from LB167, originally introduced by Crete Sen. Laura Ebke, make cannabidiol a Schedule V controlled substance.

The bill passed on a 34-5 vote.

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