My daughter is only alive by the grace of God and Narcan.

I am one of the lucky ones. I get to see my daughter thrive after rehabilitation. I get to hear her voice and hold her tight whenever I want. My world would be very different if the folks around her did not seek out medical assistance when she needed it.

I am thankful for LD 329: An Act To Exempt from Criminal Liability Persons Reporting a Drug-related Medical Emergency. This gives hope to mothers like me who know their child’s life is in danger. I am thankful every time someone is saved from an overdose. Because I understand that recovery can be a beautiful thing.

But Maine has some of the harshest drug laws in the country. For example, the number of women sentenced to jail and prison, mostly for low-level drug crimes, has risen over 1,500 percent in less than 25 years. That is six times the national average.

We have a lot of work to do in Maine to help end this overdose crisis. Maybe it doesn’t matter how we got here. What matters are the steps we take right now. LD 1492: An Act To Reform Drug Sentencing Laws is a step in the right direction to correct the damage we have done that has fueled this crisis.

Liesha Petrovich, Norway

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