Earlier this session the North Dakota House passed HB1412 which would give amnesty to illegal users of alcohol – underage drinkers, basically – in cases of medical emergencies. The idea was that underage drinkers might not seek medical attention for someone who needed it out of fear of being arrested. So this change to the law would prioritize saving people’s lives over arresting people for relatively petty alcohol offenses.
But when the bill came back from the Senate, it had been amended to include drug overdoses as well.
With the inclusion of drugs, the House killed the bill on Monday with the concern expressed from the majority that they didn’t want to grant amnesty for felony. Rep. Rick Becker, though, pointed out that the House passed the bill when it applied to alcohol and also, in a separate bill, made providing alcohol to minors by an adult a felony in some situations:
I’d point out that there’s another aspect of hypocrisy going on here. The North Dakota House passed four major pro-life bills, severely restricting abortions and greatly expanding protections for the lives of babies still in the womb. As a pro-life conservative I’m happy they made that move, but I’m baffled that roughly the same group of people would prioritize convicting people for alcohol/drug offenses over saving lives.
If the North Dakota legislature cares about life so much, why not prioritize saving lives over arresting people for drug/alcohol violations?