Law Enforcement Officials and Residents Support Cortland County Drug Addiction Bill – Cortland Voice



Cortland County office building. (Photo source: Kevin L. Smith / Cortland Voice)

Several law enforcement officials, residents and other Cortland County officials have expressed support for a proposed local drug addiction law that could be enacted by county lawmakers at a later date.

The local “H” law for the year 2021, also known as the “Cortland County Synthetic Poisons and Hazardous Substances Act”, has been proposed as follows:

“…Prohibit as illegal the sale and possession in Cortland County, New York, of intoxicating chemicals or hazardous substances, which are mislabelled or unlabeled, the purpose of which is to be ingested, inhaled or injected, to mimic the effects of controlled substances or marijuana that have no other legitimate therapeutic use or purpose. “

The chemical compounds and / or substances attached to the proposed law are the salts, isomers, homologues and salts of isomers and homologues, according to the dialogue of the bill.

At the Cortland County Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting on Thursday, committee members voted 6 to 1 in favor of the recommendation to pass local law. A public hearing on the law will be held during the county legislature on Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m.

According to the law dialogue, county lawmakers ruled that “the potential or actual harm caused to residents by certain intoxicating chemical compounds or hazardous substances is such that those hazardous chemicals or substances should be considered illegal.”

The purpose of the bill is as follows:

  • To promote public health, safety and general well-being, and to minimize public and private injury to the citizens of the county due to the permissive availability of certain intoxicating chemical compounds or hazardous substances; thus, requiring the prohibition of such chemical compounds or hazardous substances.
  • To protect life and health.
  • Help ban these chemical compounds or dangerous substances, as well as other narcotics and intoxicants.
  • To assist in the prosecution of related offenses.

Under the proposed law, anyone who violates it could be charged with a Class B offense. A further violation of the law could lead to separate offenses.

County Sheriff Mark Helms, Cortland Town Police Chief Paul Sandy and Homer Village Police Chief Robert Pitman have expressed support for the proposed local law. District Attorney Patrick Perfetti and County Coroner Denise Bushnell have also spoken out in favor of the law.

Residents of the city of Cortland, Melanie and Kevin Arnold, of Randall Street, and Carrie Whitney, of Delaware Avenue, each gave speeches about drug use in the area which has had a major effect on the neighborhoods in which they live.

For the full discussion of the local bill at the Cortland County Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting on Thursday, click here. The chat runs from 4:45 to 1:00:40 in the recorded video.


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