From: The Sandpaper.net - In response to ongoing prescription drug and heroin problems in Ocean County, legislators from the 9th and 10th districts are collaborating with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to strengthen state laws and help alleviate the problem.
Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th District introduced legislation earlier this summer that would grade drug dealing offenses by “units,” rather than weight, of controlled dangerous substances, including heroin. In the 10th District, Sen. Jim Holzapfel, a former Ocean County prosecutor, and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin endorsed this measure, which would allow a defendant to be charged with a higher offense than is currently permitted.
“This anti-drug legislation was drafted at the request of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato as a means of more effectively combating the trafficking of heroin in New Jersey,” the 9th District legislators said in a joint statement. “Our delegation is committed to stemming the tide of drug trafficking and drug use that has pervaded our communities with deadly consequences…
The 10th District, meanwhile, has introduced a bill that seeks to increase participation in New Jersey’s electronic Prescription Monitoring Program, which collects data on prescriptions dispensed for all controlled and dangerous substances. The measure is intended to prevent the diversion, abuse and illegal sale of prescription drugs. In addition, the legislation encourages doctors to participate in the program and increase information sharing to ensure that prescriptions are also being monitored from state to state.
“We are working alongside the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to reassess and enhance the current state law to allow for more severe penalties for the distribution of specific drugs and to combat the growing heroin epidemic our state currently faces,” stated Holzapfel, Wolfe and McGuckin. “While there is no quick fix for the growing number of overdoses and heroin-related deaths, we must target the distributors. Prescription pill abuse is the new gateway to heroin addiction.
“Our residents and children need to be educated about the deadly effects before this epidemic gets worse.”