Policy Initiatives

Opting Out of New York’s Adult Cannabis Retail Dispensaries & On-site Consumption

In an effort to ensure the health and safety of our communities and children, PACT is working with the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, PACT Superintendents of Schools, Levittown Community Action Coalition as well as Massapequa Takes Action Coalition to educate policy makers regarding the value of OPTING OUT of New York’s Adult Cannabis Retail Dispensaries & On-site Consumption sites. In its first effort to engage its partners, the Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay voted 7 – 0 to OPT-OUT of New York State’s adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption businesses in its unincorporated areas. PACT and its partners are dedicated to making sure our children and communities come first . . . before profits. PACT’s partners, residents and community members are encouraged to visit the NYS Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) website to keep informed of upcoming OCM meetings where new regulations are decided in real-time. 

Adolescent SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment)

In Nassau County, youth (grades 7-12) start using alcohol, marijuana and prescription pain relievers before the age of fifteen. The earlier teens start using substances, the greater their chances of continued use and developing substance use problems later in life. While many parents talk with their child regarding the dangers of underage drinking and substance use, only 50% of PACT communities’ parents actually do. AAP views pediatric care providers playing a critical, ongoing role in the lives of their adolescent patients and have a unique opportunity to educate them about the dangers of substance use and to influence their behaviors. Most adolescents (83%) have contact with a physician annually; adolescents consider physicians an authoritative source of knowledge about alcohol and drugs and are receptive to discussing substance use. With the health of our children as primary concern, our partnering schools recommended that parents ask their child’s pediatrician for an assessment using the Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Tool during their child’s annual pediatric visit. SBIRT, an evidence-based program, is a set of tools doctors and pediatricians use to help identify alcohol or drug problems in adolescent children and young adults, and guide interventions or recommendations if a problem exists. PACT proudly partners with Northwell Health to provide pediatricians and healthcare professionals SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment) Virtual Training to ensure healthcare professionals have the tools they need to implement SBIRT.

Alcohol Training Awareness Program

While in New York State (NYS), the sale of alcohol to a minor is considered to be one of the most serious violations under NYS’ Alcohol and Beverage Control Law, the NYS Liquor Authority (NYSLA) does not mandate on-premise (restaurants, bars, etc.) or off-premise (retail sales) businesses that serve/sell alcohol to participate in alcohol training awareness programs — they only recommend participation. Alcohol Training Awareness Programs (ATAP) provide businesses and their employees with the knowledge and confidence to recognize potential alcohol-related problems, effective interventions to prevent alcohol-related tragedies and the sale of alcohol to minors. PACT’s FREE Nassau County TIPS Training enhances the fundamental “people skills” of servers and sellers of alcohol, it educates how to serve and sell alcohol responsibly and profitably. While many Nassau County businesses do participate in their own or PACT’S TIPS Training (voluntary ATAP), many Nassau County businesses and their employees do not participate in the training. To ensure our roads are safe from drivers under the influence of alcohol and our youth are not exposed to alcohol before the age of 21, PACT will continue to educate New York State representatives to the benefits of new state policy addressing a mandatory requirement for businesses and their employees to participate in an alcohol training awareness program. Click here to learn more and register.