SENATE PASSES HANNON LEGISLATION TO CRIMINALIZE THEFT OF OFFICIAL STATE PRESCRIPTION FORMS
Prescription drug abuse is a growing crisis in this State and nation. Weve seen armed violence, deaths by overdose and suicide, and increasing rates of addiction.
While New York State has a preeminent program for combating prescription theft and forgery, current penal laws are not sufficient to deter the theft, possession and sale of blank official prescription forms. Current law forces authorities to wait until someone sells a stolen prescription form before law enforcement can act.
This legislation will close the loophole in three specific situations: First grand larceny, a class E felony, will punish someone who steals a blank prescription form. Second criminal possession of stolen property, also a class E felony occurs when someone possesses a blank prescription form, knowing it is stolen and intending to benefit from it. Third criminal possession of a prescription form, a class A misdemeanor punishes someone who knowingly and unlawfully possesses a blank official New York State prescription form.
These changes are necessary to combat the criminal diversion of prescription drugs, which feeds addictions, increases overdose and suicide rates, and fuels profits for drug dealers and other criminals.
With the one-year anniversary of the tragic deaths at the Medford pharmacy and recent action on the State level to combat prescription drug abuse and death, we must use every tool at our disposal to protect lives and aid law enforcement in the prosecution of those who possess and intend to use stolen prescription forms.
This bill has been sent to the Assembly.