Kansas’ Good Samaritan Law Shields Substance Abusers and Their Saviors from Legal Repercussions

By Trish Svoboda

Today, Governor Laura Kelly enacted the House Substitute for Senate Bill 419, a piece of bipartisan legislation. This law offers legal safeguards to individuals who either seek or administer medical aid during a drug-related medical crisis.

“This bill is a lifeline for families and Kansans who are battling substance use disorders. It will save lives and provide the opportunity for recovery,” Said Kelly.

Referred to as the Good Samaritan Law, this statute will shield individuals experiencing a drug overdose, as well as onlookers who call for emergency assistance, from legal action for drug possession or consumption. This serves as a crucial resource in the battle to protect Kansans from overdoses involving fentanyl and other regulated substances.

Kansas State Representative Nick Hoheisel, District 97, said that by granting legal protection to those who seek or provide help in situations involving controlled substances, we acknowledge the inherent worth and dignity of every life, even in the face of drug-related difficulties. He emphasized that every life, whether it’s teenagers experimenting with pills or older individuals grappling with addiction, is a valuable gift that deserves to be preserved. While advocating for harsher penalties for those engaged in drug distribution, he stressed the need for immediate action to ensure that those already battling addiction stay alive long enough to seek help. He concluded by stating that this legislation goes beyond policy; it’s about saving lives, including those of our friends, family, and loved ones.

In the year 2023, Governor Kelly enacted legislation that legalized the utilization of fentanyl test strips as a measure to curb overdose fatalities in Kansas. The law also escalated the legal consequences for those involved in the production or distribution of fentanyl.

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional