Issues: Controlled Substances

Sen. Krueger Introduces Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana in New York State

Joined by a broad spectrum of drug law reform advocates and fellow elected officials, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) announced that she will be introducing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) today. The legislation would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana under state law along lines similar to the state’s current system regulating alcohol, and would represent a new approach for New York State after decades of costly, counterproductive policies that have produced racially discriminatory outcomes.

“Prohibition of marijuana is a policy that just hasn’t worked, no matter how you look at it, and it’s time to have an honest conversation about what we should do next,” said Sen. Krueger. “The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals, creating a vicious cycle that ruins lives and needlessly wastes taxpayer dollars. Worst of all, this system has resulted in a civil rights disaster: African Americans are dramatically more likely to be arrested for pot possession than whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use among both groups.”

December 11, 2013


Senator Jack M. Martins attended a hearing held by the Senate Standing Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, chaired by Senator Phil Boyle, that included testimony from various experts in the field of addiction treatment and prevention. Among those who testified were New York State Officer of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene Gonzales-Sanchez and Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Executive Director of the Long Island Coalition of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. 

The hearing examined the problem and drug and alcohol addiction and abuse. The problem is a serious one in our region that will take a community effort to combat.

Also attending was New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino. 

November 14, 2013

Senator Zeldin and the Suffolk County Sober Home Oversight Board Address the State of Sober Homes in Suffolk


Senator Zeldin and the Suffolk County Sober Home Oversight Board Address the State of Sober Homes in Suffolk

Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley), in conjunction with Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning and the Suffolk County Sober Home Oversight Board, held a successful event yesterday to examine and discuss the state of Sober Living Homes in Suffolk County.

October 16, 2013

Grisanti-Sponsored Legislation Restricting Sale Of Medicine Containing 'DXM' To Minors Signed Into Law

New York State Senator Mark J. Grisanti (R, I-60) today announced legislation he introduced earlier this year was signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that restricts the sale of certain cold medicine and other cold remedies to minors in New York State containing the ingredient dextromethorphan, also known as "DXM."

The restrictions, which will go into effect in late December, prohibits the sale to minors of medications that contain DXM, an ingredient that experts say is being abused by teenagers as a way to get high.

September 30, 2013


A Column By Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan

Like everything in the United States, drug use and abuse has evolved alongside the ebb and flow of larger American culture. The sixties and seventies saw the rise in recreational use of marihuana and psychedelics like LSD. Later cocaine become a popular substance of choice, and along with it, the development of crack cocaine – a compound so addictive and destructive that many communities are still struggling to recover from the crack epidemic of the late eighties and early nineties that devastated neighborhoods and urban centers across the country. More recently, we have experienced an increase in heroin and synthetic opioid use along with designer drugs like ecstasy and methamphetamine.

September 27, 2013


     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced that legislation he supported to stop the sale and use of deadly bath salt-type drugs has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The “bath salt-type’ drugs have been linked to several deaths of young people in New York. 

     The new law will further curb the use of ‘bath salts’ by adding new compounds used to make these types of drugs to the state's banned substances list. It classifies these compounds as Schedule I stimulant controlled substances and imposes criminal penalties on those who sell, use and/or possess these drugs. The law makes it a felony to sell the substances to a minor or on school grounds.

September 13, 2013

Kennedy and Ryan Mark One-Year Anniversary Of New York’s Landmark I-STOP Law

State Lawmakers Announce New Tools, Established with Comprehensive I-STOP law, to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse. 

New Online Database Will Help Prevent “Doctor-Shopping”, Stop Drug Abuse Problems Before They Start – Law Was Enacted One Year Ago, Passed Unanimously by NY State Legislature.

BUFFALO – Today, August 26, 2013, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced the implementation of key provisions of the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) legislation that was passed last year, and signed into law on August 27, 2012.

August 26, 2013

Rochester Associate Professor, nominated by Senator O'Brien, appointed to State Tobacco Board

ROCHESTER, N.Y.Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center (GRATCC) and associate professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), was nominated by Senator Ted O'Brien to the New York State Tobacco Control Program Advisory Board. His appointment was made in late June and he began serving on the board this month.

July 16, 2013

Senator Marcellino Asks You to “SHED THE MEDS”

Senator Carl L. Marcellino is partnering with the Suffolk County Department, the Centerport Fire Department and the Huntington Fire Department to help residents safely dispose of their expired or unused medications.

The “Shed the Meds” programs will take place Tuesday, July 16,  from 3 pm to 6 pm at the Centerport Fire Department 9 Park Circle, Centerport and  on Saturday,  August 3, from 9 am to Noon at the Huntington Fire Department, 1 Leverich Place, Huntington.

Residents can drop off any medication that has expired or they no longer need, where it will be collected and safely disposed of by officers from the Suffolk County Police Department.

July 2, 2013

Sen. Krueger Condemns 2 A.M. Passage of Special Liquor Law Carve-Out for 583 Park Avenue, Rose Group Catering Hall; Calls for Governor to Veto

Sen. Krueger condemned the Senate's passage -- at 2 a.m. last Saturday -- of legislation that would create a special exemption from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Law for the Rose Group's full-time commercial catering hall at 583 Park Avenue, Manhattan (S. 5823 / A. 7992). Under the provisions of the ABC Law, the catering hall is ineligible for a full liquor license because it is located within 200 feet of an operating house of worship, the Central Presbyterian Church.

June 25, 2013

Summary of 2013 Senate Legislative Action




The New York State Senate approved the 2013-14 state budget that delivers on priorities outlined by the Senate Republican Conference to provide much-needed tax relief for middle-class families, help businesses create jobs, and, for the third consecutive year, the budget keeps spending growth below two percent, which is consistent with the local spending cap that applies to school districts and local governments.  It was also the third consecutive budget approved prior to the April 1 deadline.


June 24, 2013

Senate approves anti-meth legislation co-sponsored by O'Mara, targets meth labs

Albany, N.Y., June 13—The New York State Senate today approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to enhance the ability of local police and district attorneys to track and prosecute violations of restrictions on over-the-counter sales of cold medications that are key ingredients used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

June 13, 2013


New Data Finds NY Leads the Nation in Marijuana Arrests

Across State, Black New Yorkers 4.5 Times More Likely to Be Arrested as White New Yorkers; Disparity is 9-to-1 in Brooklyn and Manhattan

ALBANY -- With new data highlighting dramatic racial disparities in low-level marijuana arrests around New York, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Karim Camara, members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus, the Drug Policy Alliance, the New York Civil Liberties Union, VOCAL-NY, and community members made an end-of-session push for Senate passage of legislation to bring consistency and fairness to marijuana arrests.

June 13, 2013

Valesky-Sponsored Legislation Combating Methamphetamine Production Passes Senate

ALBANY, N.Y.—Legislation sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) assisting law enforcement in combating the threat to public health and safety surrounding methamphetamine production passed the Senate today.

June 13, 2013


Legislation Responds To Tragically Similar Cases In Buffalo, Rochester Areas

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, 59th District), Chair of the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, announced today that the New York State Senate passed legislation (S.4772) to increase penalties for those who commit vehicular manslaughter and have a history of serially driving under the influence.                                          

June 13, 2013

Senator O'Brien Holds Drunk Drivers Accountable

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien’s bill requiring that individuals convicted of DWI pay for their medical transportation before their driver license could be reissued passed the New York State Senate.

“Individuals who break the law and drive while intoxicated put every other motorist in danger. When our emergency services personnel put themselves on the line to aid these impaired drivers, at a minimum they deserve a guarantee that they will be compensated,” Senator O’Brien said. “Insisting that these drivers pay the medical transportation expenses incurred as a result of their reckless actions is another way to deter this behavior and protect law-abiding drivers.”

June 12, 2013

Senator Flanagan Announces Passage Of Legislation To Make Synthetic Marijuana And Bath Salts Illegal

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that the New York State Senate today passed legislation to address the threat posed to the public by “legal” but dangerous drugs.  The bill (S1686) criminalizes the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”

June 11, 2013

Video: Sen. Krueger's Marijuana Policy Reform Forum

Earlier this month, Sen. Krueger hosted a community forum on marijuana policy reform at Baruch College, and announced her plans to introduce legislation this year to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in New York State.

Read on to view a series of videos of Sen. Krueger and all four expert panelists who spoke at the forum earlier this month, or browse the videos on Youtube.

May 29, 2013

Senate Passes Measure to Increase Penalties for Selling Drugs in Parks or on Playgrounds

The New York State Senate today passed a bill increasing penalties for people who sell drugs in playgrounds and parks.

May 23, 2013

Capital New York: A New (Non-Smoking) Champion for Marijuana Legalization

Sen. Krueger will soon be introducing legislation to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in New York State. Capital New York's Dana Rubinstein attended Sen. Krueger's recent forum on marijuana policy reform, and reports on Sen. Krueger's forthcoming legislation:

“It is my intention as a New York State senator to soon introduce a law that would actually decriminalize, regulate and tax marijuana in New York,” said State Senator Liz Krueger, an Upper East Side liberal, on Wednesday night.

The room full of marijuana enthusiasts erupted into applause.

May 17, 2013
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