The federal Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) became law in May 2017. The goal of the Act is to encourage people to call 911 in the event of an overdose without fear of charge or arrest. When the Act was before parliament, Pivot Legal Society was supportive of the underlying premise of the Act, but raised concerns it did not go far enough to protect the most vulnerable drug users. The Act has been characterized as a mechanism to “encourage and protect people who are witnessing an overdose so they can seek help, and ultimately, save lives”. Unfortunately, in BC that laudable purpose is being undermined by law enforcement practices that contravene both the letter and spirit of the Act.
Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.