Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) announced a geographically diverse, bipartisan group of legislators in support of an amendment to Suffolk’s Social Host law. The amendment would make it an unclassified misdemeanor for an adult to knowingly allow minors to use drugs including marijuana, opioids, cocaine and anabolic steroids, except those medically prescribed.
The bill is being cosponsored by Legislators Berland, Calarco, Fleming, Flotteron, Gregory, Hahn, Kennedy, Lindsay, Martinez, McCaffrey, Muratore and Sunderman.
Cilmi said the bill, modeled after a similar proposal in Nassau County, is an added weapon in what he called “the life and death battle of addiction.”
He said, “We are waging a war on drug addiction and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Hundreds of people are losing their lives to a relentless opioid epidemic and the collateral damage is catastrophic. There is no magic bullet in this life and death battle so we need to use every tool available to us. I am so proud to be joined by my colleagues in support of this amendment.”
“I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan effort to expand the social host law to include illegal drugs. Alcohol and drug abuse is starting at younger and younger ages, and anything we can do to help prevent the exposure of these young, vulnerable adults to these substances is critical to fighting the epic levels of addiction we are seeing,” said Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D- Amityville).
“We must do everything in our power to protect all of our citizens, especially our children. I proudly cosponsor this legislation,” stated Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma).
Legislator Susan A. Berland (D-Dix Hills) said, “We must work together to fight the scourge of the addiction epidemic. This legislation is a step in that direction and I proudly join as a co-sponsor.”
“I am pleased to co-sponsor the amendment of the Social Host Law,” said Legislator Steve Flotteron (R-Brightwaters). “The amendment will go a long way in safeguarding our children.”
“Our children look to us for direction regarding acceptable behavior, and as a parent and a legislator I firmly believe we are all accountable for what we allow in our homes,” said Legislator Lindsay (D-Oakdale). “With overwhelming evidence of the negative impact of underage drinking we have a responsibility to lead our children to the right decision on this issue.”
Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Smithtown) said, “This bill is a natural extension to our present Social Host Law. As the drug epidemic increases, we in government have the obligation to update our laws to properly address the issue and hold accountable those that enable maladaptive and dangerous behaviors. Thank you Legislator Schaeffer for starting the ball rolling.”
“As a former criminal prosecutor, I recognize how critically important it is that we clearly define prohibited conduct. With the severity of the opiate crisis, and particularly the devastating fatalities our communities have suffered, it is more important than ever that we prohibit drinking and drug use by minors when adults are present,” said Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac).
“We need to hold the hosts of these parties responsible,” stated Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue). “This bill serves as a deterrent to those who are lackadaisical about supervision. We need to keep our children safe and opioids have no place at social gatherings.”
There will be a public hearing on the bill at the Legislature’s March 20 meeting. It could be voted on at the Legislature’s following meeting on April 24.