Regina police 'incorrectly' charge overdosing man, violating new federal law
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects people from facing minor drug charges
The Regina Police Service "incorrectly" laid drug possession charges against a person who was overdosing, violating a new federal law aimed at encouraging people to report overdoses, a spokesperson confirms.
Police said officers were sent to a hotel on east Victoria Avenue on Sept.3 around 9 a.m. They were responding to a call about a man who appeared to be suffering from a suspected drug overdose.
The Moose Jaw man was revived and taken to hospital. Meanwhile police searched the room, finding cocaine and methamphetamine.
Police said around 11:30 a.m., the man was informed he was being arrested and charged for drug possession.
However, spokesperson Les Parker said it came to police's attention the laying of the charges was in violation of The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, a law that provides immunity to certain charges to anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing an overdose.
"We did lay the charges incorrectly and it's been since dealt with internally," Parker said of the incident.
He said around the time the law was passed a memo would have been sent to officers and believes this incident was a simple mistake.
Parker said a reminder about the law will be put into training sessions this fall.