Senate Bill S2340

2023-2024 Legislative Session

Decriminalizes possession of controlled substances, establishes the drug decriminalization task force; repealer

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Current Bill Status - In Senate Committee Codes Committee

  • Introduced
    • In Committee Assembly
    • In Committee Senate
    • On Floor Calendar Assembly
    • On Floor Calendar Senate
    • Passed Assembly
    • Passed Senate
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed By Governor

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2023-S2340 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §220.03, rpld §§220.46 & 220.25, Pen L; amd §§160.50 & 440.10, CP L; amd §850, Gen Bus L; add §3395, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in 2021-2022 Legislative Session:
S1284, A7109

2023-S2340 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Eliminates criminal and civil penalties for possession of controlled substances; establishes the drug decriminalization task force to develop recommendations for reforming state laws, regulations and practices so that they align with the stated goal of treating substance use disorder as a disease, rather than a criminal behavior.

2023-S2340 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

2023-S2340 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                        2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                             I N  S E N A T E
                             January 20, 2023
 Introduced  by  Sens. RIVERA, BRISPORT, RAMOS, SALAZAR -- read twice and
   ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
 AN ACT to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law and the gener-
   al   business  law,  in  relation  to  decriminalizing  possession  of
   controlled substances; to amend the public health law, in relation  to
   establishing  the drug decriminalization task force; to repeal certain
   provisions of the penal law related thereto;  and  providing  for  the
   repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof
   Section 1. Legislative findings. The  legislature  hereby  finds  that
 substance  use  disorder  is  a  disease and should therefore be treated
 using a public  health,  rather  than  a  criminal-legal-system-centered
 approach.  Existing laws criminalizing the possession of drugs have been
 ineffective  in reducing drug use and preventing substance use disorder.
 Instead, these laws have devastated individuals, families, and  communi-
 ties.   Treating substance use as a crime by arresting and incarcerating
 people for personal use offenses causes significant harm to  individuals
 who  use  drugs  by disrupting and further destabilizing their lives. It
 also contributes to an increased risk of death, the spread of infectious
 diseases, mass incarceration, the separation of families,  and  barriers
 to accessing housing, employment, and other vital services. Furthermore,
 even  though  research  shows  that  drugs  are used and sold at similar
 levels across all races,  laws  criminalizing  the  use  of  drugs  have
 disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx communities. The purpose of
 this  legislation  is  to  save  lives  and to help transform New York's
 approach to drug use from one based on criminalization and stigma to one
 based on science and  compassion,  by  eliminating  criminal  and  civil
 penalties for the personal possession of controlled substances.
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.
 S. 2340                             2


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