DENVER, CO — Representative Leslie Herod today released the following statement after Governor Jared Polis signed legislation to prohibit law enforcement from compelling or unduly influencing a paramedic to administer ketamine.
“Today, we took a significant step forward in our state to improve policing and end the misuse of ketamine, which has had dangerous and deadly consequences for Coloradans,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “ No longer will law enforcement be able to direct paramedics to administer a potentially deadly drug, especially for a condition of ‘excited delirium,’ the diagnostic validity of which is disputed by medical professionals. I applaud Governor Polis’ support for this bill and for working to stop the misuse of chemical restraints in interactions with law enforcement.”
HB21-1251, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Yadira Caraveo, a physician, prohibits law enforcement from compelling, directing, or unduly influencing a paramedic to chemically incapacitate someone by administering ketamine. It adds strict new requirements for the circumstances under which a paramedic can administer ketamine in prehospital settings in the presence of law enforcement, including attempting to obtain a verbal order from a medical supervisor, an accurate estimation of weight to ensure proper dosage, and equipment on site to monitor the person’s vital signs and provide urgent transport to a hospital.