Stormwatch

Town plans to ban drug tools

Local - 6/24/2014 5:40 PM by Stuart Hammer

OCEANA – A Wyoming County community is fighting back in the war on drugs.

“It's just bad around here. I mean it gets to the point where it's so bad it scares you,” says local Scotty Hamilton.

Oceana is moving forward with an ordinance that will ban drug paraphernalia and make possession a punishable offense.

“All we can do is seize it, and (we) cannot cite them for it, says Oceana Police, Cpl. Matthew Sluss.

He says he hopes a new law will have long-term effects.

“Hopefully with this ordinance getting pushed through, then it's going make people think twice before they come in our city especially,” adds Sluss.

City Councilman, Jim Cook says this is a move that should curb crime.

“You can't fight a war on drugs and let them have the supplies and stuff they need. I mean, you're either going to fight the war on drugs or you're not.”

Sluss says it’s frustrating not being able to punish obvious drug-users who have the paraphernalia.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years, and it's a thing that; it can weigh heavily on you, but now hopefully we can get this ordinance passed.”

This little Wyoming County town is stepping up to the plate and they hope others will follow suit.

“I'd like to see it become state-wide,” says Cook, “I know it was in the legislature during the last session. It got through the House but not the senate.”

City Council members say they don't expect any pushback when it comes to vote next month. And they say most of the community seems to be all for this move.

"That's fine with me. I mean drugs are bad enough around here anyway,” says Thomas Brown of Oceana.

“(The) way needles are, stuff like that, my mother passed away about two years ago because of that junk,” adds Hamilton, “And I ain't going to say I’m innocent you know, I've done my share, but after my mom died I quit doing that stuff.”

Residents will face a $500 fine on first offense, a $1000 fine on second offense, and a $2000 fine any time after that.

Officials hope soon jail time can be added to the penalties.

First reading of the proposed bill to happen at the City Council’s July meeting.


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