Drugs Laws Working; New Laws Not Necessary

Statement from Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
March 4, 2009

“In 2004, the state Legislature repealed the antiquated Rockefeller Drug Laws and created a new sentencing structure that promoted the use of rehabilitation programs and less prison time for drug addicts. These actions have made a positive impact resulting in the lowest number of incarcerated drug felons in 20 years and can be directly linked to our state’s lowest prison population since 1991. So why fix what’s not broken?

The New York State District Attorneys Association opposes this bill and I adamantly support their position on this legislation. As this reputable association points out, this so-called reform package eliminates the prosecutor’s role in selecting drug treatment options and further reduces drug sanctions, both of which will undermine the effectiveness of abuse treatment programs and put the general public at considerable risk. Apparently, my Assembly Majority colleagues believe that our prisons should be revolving doors for repeat drug abusers and dealers by advancing this legislation.

This legislation does nothing to further our war on drugs and, in fact, does a huge disservice to drug abusers who want to get clean but need the structure to achieve this end. It is unfortunate that despite my staunch opposition this piece of legislation passed the Assembly today.”