LANSING (AP) – People under age 21 could avoid prescription drug-related criminal charges when reporting a medical emergency under legislation advancing in Michigan.

The bill was approved unanimously by the House Wednesday and sent to the Senate. It would exempt minors from prosecution if they call 911 to report an overdose or other prescription drug-related health emergency.

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The sponsor, Republican Rep. Al Pscholka of Stevensville, is hoping the legislation reduces the number of drug deaths and encourages young people to “do the right thing.” He introduced the bill after a 16-year-old died when other party goers reportedly did not get him help because they feared getting in trouble.

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Michigan already has a “Good Samaritan” exemption for minors assisting someone in danger from alcohol intoxication.

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