News From New York State
Senator Shirley L. Huntley
For Immediate Release: May 10, 2011
Contact: Bryant G. Gaspard| firstname.lastname@example.org | (518) 455-3531
Senate Aims to Strengthen Laws Relating to Sale of Controlled Substances to Minors
Senator Huntley: Bill Strengthens Penalties Against Those Who Would Exploit Youth
Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica) announced that the New York State Senate passed legislation aiming to increase penalties for those who sell controlled substances to minors. The bill, S. 3210-A, would increase the penalty for the sale of controlled substances to minors under 14, and would hold those who exploit vulnerable youth accountable by increasing penalties for drug dealers.
“This legislation is a necessary and proactive response to the recent increase in drug use by young adults and teenagers,” said Senator Huntley. “With an increase in the amount of cases and deaths from overdoses, it is more important than ever to protect New York’s next generation during their most vulnerable stage of life. By holding drug dealers accountable, especially those who target minors, we hope to reduce the number of young people who become addicted later in life.”
Under this bill, the sale of a controlled substance by someone over 18 years of age to someone less than 14 years of age would be prosecuted as a class A-II felony. Additionally, the sale of a controlled substance by someone over 21 years old to someone less than 17 years old would be prosecuted as a class B felony.
According to Partnership for a Drug Free America, 60% of teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15. Too often, drug dealers take advantage of young people, and this bill is indented to deter and harshly punish those who profit from selling drugs to minors.
In Southeast Queens, which is part of Senator Huntley’s 10th Senatorial District, it is critically important that that those who choose to prey on children by distributing controlled substances be held accountable and punished accordingly. Too many families and communities have seen their youth fall victim to substance abuse issues and have not seen enough people arrested for their criminal actions
The youth in Southeast Queens, and the rest of New York City and the State should not have to worry about being confronted and/or having the prevalence of drug dealers in their communities and this bill will seek to alleviate this ongoing problem.
The senator concluded, “to effectively combat the growing presence of drug addiction and the ongoing sales of controlled substances, we as parents and legislators must combine education prevention programs with treatment and strict law enforcement to properly protect our state’s youth from narcotics addiction. This bill strengthens the element of enforcement, and shows our strengthened resolve to protect the children – our future – and keep them on the right path.”