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Gavin Bart, director of the division of addiction medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center, agrees. “This is not a get-out-of-jail-free card,” he said. “This is to disallow information that is solely obtained as a result of a good faith call to see help.”
Nor will offering immunity impact arrest numbers, because typically few people are ever charged in the first place. “How can someone be charged beyond a shadow of a doubt with a crime for another person’s decision to use? We know there were people with Steve when he died,” Holtum said, “and no one was ever charged, which is very typical.”
Holtum knows that passage of Steve’s Law is only the beginning. The next step is partnering with law enforcement, public health officials and the public to create awareness about the law. That offers Jenkin some comfort.
Ashley, she said, “was the center of my life,” a special young woman who figure-skated and played piano, who loved to camp and cook.
“She, simply put, was adored,” Jenkin said. “Something really needs to be done to save lives, and Steve’s Law would bring that change.”
Follow Gail on Twitter: @grosenblum