Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently voted in favor of legislation to raise penalties for drug dealers who sell drugs to children.
“Drug abuse destroys lives, which is why we must do everything we can to keep drugs out of children’s hands. Drug dealers who prey on kids need to face tougher penalties. This legislation will give prosecutors another tool to keep these drug dealers off the streets and away from our children,” said Senator Fuschillo.
The legislation (S3210A), which was passed by the State Senate, would create enhanced penalties for drug dealers who sell narcotics and other controlled substances, including heroin, to minors under the age of 14. Under the proposed law, the penalty would be raised to a class A-II felony, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Drug use, particularly heroin, is a growing epidemic among young people on Long Island. Heroin has become increasingly attractive among teens because of its low cost, in many cases less than one ticket to the movies. A 2010 Newsday story noted that the number of Long Islanders under the age of 26 in rehab for heroin addiction more than doubled from 2007 to 2009.
The legislation has been passed by the State Senate and sent to the Assembly for consideration.