Briella TomassettiFeb 13, 2018, 2:02 pm

Officials in Nassau push for Social Host Law to include marijuana and opioids

Legislation introduced in 2007 holds adults responsible for allowing minors to consume alcohol at home


MINEOLA — Nassau County legislators along with police and community activists are came together on Tuesday to battle the deadly opioid epidemic by sponsoring new legislation that could help save lives.

Officials are pushing to amend Nassau County’s Social Host Law to include controlled substances. The Social Host Law, introduced back in 2007, currently holds adults responsible for allowing minors to drink alcohol in their homes. However, the expansion of the law would include drugs like marijuana and opioids like heroin and prescription pills.

"Everyone knows someone who is affected by the opioid crisis in Nassau County and throughout the nation," said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

"We still average over 1,400 arrests between opiates and heroin every single year. The changes in the law will help us enforce and hold people accountable," said Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

The Social Host Law is currently punishable by a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for a second offense, and a fine of either $1,000 or up to a year in prison for third or subsequent offenses.

Although pills may be tougher to enforce, officials say parents should be checking up on their kids on a regular basis.

Legislators say the Good Samaritan Law would apply in the case of an overdose. For instance, if someone calls an ambulance, the adults would not be prosecuted.

"Kids are becoming addicted as a result of this use and we need to do everything we can to help perpetuate that message that this is not okay, and will not be tolerated,” says Jamie Bogenshutz of Yes We Can Community Counseling.

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Oyster Bay, New York