ASSEMBLY, No. 1436

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  MARLENE CARIDE

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Space

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes Statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Coordinating Task Force.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

   


An Act concerning controlled dangerous substances and amending P.L.1970, c.226.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 31 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-31) is amended to read as follows:

     31.  Powers of enforcement personnel.  a.  (1)  It is hereby made the duty of the division, its officers, agents, inspectors, and representatives, and of all peace officers within the State, and of the Attorney General and all county prosecutors, to enforce all provisions of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), as amended and supplemented, except those specifically delegated, and to cooperate with all agencies charged with the enforcement of the laws of the United States, of this State, and of all other states, relating to narcotic drugs or controlled dangerous substances, and it shall be the duty of the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy in the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, its officers, agents, inspectors, and representatives also to assist the division, peace officers, and county prosecutors in the enforcement of all provisions of P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented, relating to the handling of controlled dangerous substances by pharmacy owners and pharmacists.

     (2)   (a)  Pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Attorney General shall establish a Statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Coordinating Task Force within the Department of Law and Public Safety, which shall have as its purpose to:  identify, investigate, and prosecute the illegal sources and distribution of prescription opioid drugs; and provide training for law enforcement officials, physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals in state-of-the-art methods to detect prescription drug diversion and related abuses.

     (b)   The task force shall include:  the First Assistant Attorney General, who shall serve as chair of the task force; the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, the Director of the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, the Director of the State Board of Medical Examiners, the Director of the New Jersey Board of Nursing, and the Director of the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry, or their designated representatives; at least one representative each from county prosecutors’, sheriffs’, and local law enforcement agencies; and any representatives of federal law enforcement agencies that are available and are invited by the Attorney General to serve on the task force.

     (c)   The task force shall report at least quarterly to the Attorney General on its activities, and shall include in that report any recommendations that it deems necessary to fulfill its purposes.

     b.    Authority is hereby granted to the director:

     (1)   To promulgate all necessary rules and regulations for the efficient enforcement of P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented;

     (2)   To promulgate, insofar as applicable, regulations from time to time promulgated by the Attorney General of the United States;

     (3)   To promulgate an order relative to any controlled dangerous substance under P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented, when the delay occasioned by acting through promulgation of a regulation would constitute an imminent danger to the public health or safety.

     (a)   An order of the director shall take effect immediately, but it shall expire 270 days after promulgation thereof.  Rules and regulations pursuant to such order may be adopted and promulgated by the director, but they shall not take effect until [he] the director has given due notice of his intention to take such action and has held a public hearing.

     (b)   Any person who denies that a drug or pharmaceutical preparation is properly subject to an order by the director which applies the provisions of P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented, to [such] that drug or pharmaceutical preparation, may apply to the director for a hearing which [must] shall be afforded, except where a drug or pharmaceutical preparation has been the subject of a prior hearing or determination by the director, in which case a hearing shall be discretionary with the director.  In [such] that case, a decision [must] shall be rendered by the director or [his] the director’s designee within 48 hours of the request for a hearing.  If the petitioning party is aggrieved by the decision, [he] that party shall have the right to apply for injunctive relief against the order.  Jurisdiction for [such] that injunctive relief shall be in the Superior Court of New Jersey by way of summary proceedings.

     c.    In addition to the powers set forth in subsection a. of this section, any officer or employee of the division designated by the director may:

     (1)   Execute search warrants, arrest warrants, administrative inspection warrants, subpoenas, and summonses issued under the authority of this State;

     (2)   Make seizures of property pursuant to the provisions of [this act] P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented; and

     (3) Perform such other law enforcement duties as may be designated by the director, with the approval of the Attorney General.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.244, s.16)

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Attorney General to establish a Statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Coordinating Task Force within the Department of Law and Public Safety, implementing the third recommendation of the State Commission of Investigation’s July 2013 report, “Scenes from an Epidemic.”

     The purpose of this bill is to strengthen federal, State, county, and local law enforcement efforts relating to opioid drugs.  Although federal, State, county, and local law enforcement resources currently exist to appropriately investigate these cases, coordination of those resources is not always effective in combating drug diversion.

     The task force will have as its purpose to:  identify, investigate, and prosecute the illegal sources and distribution of prescription opioid drugs; and provide training for law enforcement officials, physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals in state-of-the-art methods to detect prescription drug diversion and related abuses.

     The task force is to include:  the First Assistant Attorney General, who is to serve as chair of the task force; the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, the Director of the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, the Director of the State Board of Medical Examiners, the Director of the New Jersey Board of Nursing, and the Director of the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry, or their designated representatives; at least one representative each from county prosecutors’, sheriffs’, and local law enforcement agencies; and any representatives of federal law enforcement agencies that are available and are invited by the Attorney General to serve on the task force.

     The task force is to report at least quarterly to the Attorney General on its activities, and to include in that report any recommendations that it deems necessary to fulfill its purposes.