February 26, 2019
ALBANY, NY – Statement From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) is co-sponsoring legislation championed by Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Sen. Fred Akshar (R-Binghamton) to prohibit supervised heroin injection sites across the state.
“The answer to the heroin epidemic is not more heroin,” said Palmesano. “We must continue to respond to this crisis with compassion, but that doesn’t mean enabling lethal drug use. It means investing more state resources in prevention, education, and, most importantly, comprehensive treatment so addicts can regain control and reclaim their lives.”
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) sponsors legislation which would authorize Mayor de Blasio to open four supervised injection sites in New York City. Mayor Svante Myrick wants a fifth site in Ithaca.
“It’s a ridiculous proposal that fails on its merits. Luckily for New Yorkers, it’s also illegal. The Justice Department has assured Assemblywoman Malliotakis that they take this matter very seriously. Our legislation would send a clear message to our constituents and to law enforcement officials from Albany to Washington- New Yorkers value the rule of law, period,” said Palmesano.
Palmesano also expressed deep misgivings about the impact heroin injection sites would have on nearby homeowners and small businesses.
“If I own a business or a home, do I want a heroin injection site setting up shop next door? There’s a tremendous, disruptive social cost to this,” said Palmesano.
Palmesano stressed that he remains committed to supporting proven solutions, including increasing access to detox, comprehensive treatment and consistent follow-up care.
“We need to focus all of our efforts on making sure people get the help they need and getting major drug traffickers behind bars. Making it easier for addicts to keep using is absolutely the wrong approach,” said Palmesano.