Murphy supports a pair of Senate bills preventing drug dealers from preying on children

Terrence Murphy

March 3, 2016

ALBANY, NY - As Co-Chairman of the New York State Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, Senator Terrence Murphy has been urging his colleagues to pass tougher laws punishing drug dealers. The New York State Senate responded yesterday by passing two bills to help keep illegal drugs out of the hands of children and teens. The bills would help tackle rising drug abuse among our youth by increasing penalties for the sale of drugs to anyone under 14 years-of-age and for the sale of illegal drugs in parks or at playgrounds.

"Drug dealers have no shame. They prey on teenagers, even children, and brazenly push their toxic drugs in public parks and playgrounds," Senator Murphy said. "I have been pushing for tougher legislation to hold drug dealers accountable for their despicable crimes and I will continue to do so until the war against heroin and opioid addiction is won. Children, families and are very way of life are being threatened for the sake of a few dollars."

There has been a recent increase in drug use - especially opiate-based substances - by young adults and teenagers, and with it, an increase in overdoses. Many of these youngsters start experimenting in their teenage years with addicting prescription drugs provided by drug dealers who prey upon young people.

A bill (S208) sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins (R-C-I, Mineola) creates the crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child in the first degree, making the sale of a controlled substance by an adult to a minor under the age of 14 a Class A-II felony.

"Adults who sell dangerous, illegal drugs to young children are predators, plain and simple. They are targeting them and selling them poison, trying to get them addicted in order to make money," Senator Martins said. "Right now, every community in New York State is battling a heroin and opioid epidemic; here in Nassau County, heroin related deaths reached record levels last year. Giving law enforcement stronger tools to take the dealers who are poisoning our kids off the streets and out of our communities is a necessary step to combat this epidemic. I hope the Assembly will join the Senate in passing this important legislation."

Bill (S994) sponsored by Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) would increase the penalties for the sale of controlled substances if it occurs on park grounds or playgrounds. Current laws penalize persons who sell controlled substances on the grounds of day care centers and educational facilities, but not park grounds or playgrounds.

Senator Golden said, "Parks and playgrounds should be about swings, slides, and fields, not drugs. This legislation will better protect our children from drug dealers especially in places where they are supposed to be safe. Stricter laws are on the books to reduce the presence of drugs in school zones, and today, the Senate has approved this bill that would similarly guard parks and playgrounds. We must advance these laws, in the wake of the prescription drug and heroin crisis throughout our city and state, to keep drugs away from our children."

The bills will be sent to the Assembly.

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