Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) is joining forces with his colleagues in the Legislature to address the heroin and opioid epidemic that has run rampant across New York State. This week, Morinello signed on to cosponsor two Assembly bills associated with the multi-pronged approach the Legislature has singled out as the proper way to address the disease.

The first bill cosponsored by Morinello would focus on increasing the criminal penalty imposed on dealers. Assembly Bill 3398 would grant law enforcement the ability to charge dealers with homicide should the substance they sold result in the death of an individual who consumed the product. This crime would become a class A-1 felony.

“It is important we go after the dealers who are flooding our streets with these narcotics to the fullest extent of the law,” said Morinello. “The only way to remove a weed is to attack the root and remove it from the equation. We must first limit and contain the supply of these dangerous drugs.”

The second bill would focus on recovery for those suffering from heroin and opioid addiction, and treat them as victims instead of criminals. Assembly Bill 0524 would allow a court to require assisted outpatient treatment for a person suffering from a substance use disorder.

“Fighting addiction is never an easy task, so it is imperative we as Legislators provide our residents and communities with the best resources possible to fight this disease together. The only way we can overcome this difficult issue is by banding together and fighting it on a unified front,” said Morinello. “It will be an arduous task, but if we are able to increase contributions and support from all available avenues, then we can tackle this problem once and for all.”

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