NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A612
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the penal law, in relation to decriminalizing the
possession of buprenorphine
This bill would exclude buprenorphine, a medication commonly used to
treat opioid use disorder, from the list of controlled substances.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends section 220.00 of the penal law.
Section two sets forth the effective date.
Buprenorphine is an effective medication used to treat opioid use disor-
der (OUD). In 2000, the federal Drug Addiction Treatment Act allowed
physicians to begin prescribing buprenorphine for treatment of OUD,
which provided them with an option other than methadone for the treat-
ment and management of OUD. Buprenorphine is classified as a schedule
III/IIIN controlled substance because its potential for abuse is marked-
ly lower than methadone. Additionally, because patients can self-admin-
ister buprenorphine, it does not require patients to travel to doctors'
offices or treatment facilities each day for their prescribed dose.
Despite its efficacy, buprenorphine is classified as a controlled
substance, meaning that individuals who possess it without a
prescription risk criminal prosecution, even if they are using it to
treat their own opioid use disorder. While there is a small risk that
people may divert and use buprenorphine, the vast majority of use, both
subsequent to a prescription and not, is to manage opioid use disorder.
We should not discourage this use.
This legislation would place buprenorphine on par with marijuana in our
schedule of controlled substances and ensure we are not wrongly prose-
cuting individuals who are attempting to treat an opioid use disorder.
2019-20: A.10109 - Referred to Codes
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 6, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to decriminalizing the
possession of buprenorphine
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivisions 5 and 8 of section 220.00 of the penal law,
2 subdivision 5 as amended by chapter 537 of the laws of 1998 and subdivi-
3 sion 8 as amended by section 18 of part C of chapter 447 of the laws of
4 2012, are amended to read as follows:
5 5. "Controlled substance" means any substance listed in schedule I,
6 II, III, IV or V of section thirty-three hundred six of the public
7 health law other than buprenorphine and marihuana, but including concen-
8 trated cannabis as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of
9 section thirty-three hundred two of such law.
10 8. "Narcotic preparation" means any controlled substance listed in
11 schedule II(b-1), III(d) or III(e) other than buprenorphine.
12 § 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
13 ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.