2002-10-19 / Community

Addabbo: ‘Playgrounds Should Be Drug Free’

Addabbo: ‘Playgrounds Should Be Drug Free’

City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., Chairman of the New York City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, announced that he has proposed legislation that would make all of the city-owned playgrounds a "Drug Free Zone" similar to the "Drug Free Zone" for the city schools.

Under the terms of the proposed bill the possession or sale of a controlled substance within any city public playground including any area within one thousand feet of the playground constitutes a misdemeanor with criminal penalties of up to one year in jail and up to a ten thousand dollar fine. In addition, the bill proposes civil penalties of from ten thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars.

Councilman Addabbo said that over thirty of his council colleagues have joined him as cosponsors of the proposed legislation.

After being introduced Addabbo’s bill was referred to the Council’s Public Safety Committee for a hearing and vote at a future date to be determined.

Current "Drug Free Zone" laws protect children while they learn at school by enhancing the penalties for anyone caught selling drugs within one thousand feet of school grounds. "I have introduced this bill because children playing in our city public playgrounds are not protected by current law," said Addabbo.

"It is wrong for parents to have to worry about the safety of their children while they happily play in the city’s playgrounds," the councilman added. "This measure will increase the criminal and civil penalties for those who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities by establishing "Drug Free Zones" for our city public playgrounds."

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