With New Jersey's drug problem reaching an epidemic rate, Governor Chris Christie explained why he conditionally vetoed the "good Samaritan bill" this week.

Governor Chris Christie (Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media)

At a town hall in Burlington County, a woman from Cherry Hill asked Christie why he chose to veto the bill. "So many kids are on drugs these days, this bill would have granted immunity to those that witness a drug overdose and call for help" the woman told the governor at the YMCA in Mt. Laurel.

The intent of the bill was to reduce drug overdoses by encouraging people to call 9-1-1 when they see a drug overdose.

Christie said the reason for his conditional veto is simple, he doesn't agree with total immunity.

"Its a bill that included immunity for anyone who picked up the phone no matter what they did...I don't think people should be immune from prosecution if they are involved in a drug overdose."

"They call it a good samaritan bill...good samaritan? How about if they're not a good samaritan? What if they are the person that supplied the drugs? That is my problem with this bill" he added.

Christie wants the legislature to draft a bill that would require the state Attorney General's office to study overdose reporting for the next 18 months and then report back to him.

"My job is to get into the detail on this stuff and make sure that we're not causing more harm than good by doing it."

At least ten states have enacted Good Samaritan laws.


Governor's Office