POL POSITION: Drugged Driving Battle Heating Up

While we visited the State Capital Monday, we were greeted with unexpected Senate passion for a few legislative initiatives we see as important. First; The Drugged Driving Bill is picking up steam. Senator Mannion and Woodhaven’s native son Senator Joe Addabbo are fighting to get this bill into law. It would essentially make it illegal to drive impaired on marijuana.

What, you say?

It’s not illegal now?


The State’s definition of impairment is tied to alcohol, not drugs.

Crazy, right?

Well there is another side to this. There are those legislators who don’t trust law enforcement, and giving cops any more ability to stop and arrest someone is seen as violating the right to live free.

Hey, we’re all about being voluntarily impaired. But stay home!

Second, we were impressed to see Woodside’s freshman Assemblyman, Steven Raga speak about, and sign on to a bill that supports community media. QPTV, BRIC and Bronx Net happened to be up on Albany getting talking on what they see as a change that could put them out of business in 5-years. Cable companies have funded their existence since the mid 80’s. Their multiple cable TV channels are basically the only place for people to find out what is going on at their local library, the many cultural places in the boroughs and even community board meeting listings.

Readers can find them in our papers too, but community media like public access TV is essential to fund. ‘Cord Cutting’ has led to a lack of funding and while other states have had an excise tax (one which can not be passed along to the consumer) on streaming services we have none. Part of that tax goes to public access networks.

Public Access broadcast agencies operate programs that teach regular people to use professional video equipment to produce videos for a public need. Those videos are used on their channels. One producer, Dr. JJ Abularrage, is a doctor out of NY Presbyterian Queens. He spoke quite passionately about how his work as a producer with QPTV was essential for his passion on doctor/patient relationship. “I could not have set up these learning videos for the doctors at my hospital without QPTV,” he said. “I know it saved lives.”

“I love BRIC,” said Greenpoint Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher. “Community media is essential.”

Glad to see the support of a bunch of other Senators and Assembly members who spoke about their support at the press conference on the 4th floor of the Senate area.

Fill the Form for Events, Advertisement or Business Listing