ACLU, Residents Criticize New City Drug Ordinance

Apr 12, 2017

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and city residents have expressed concern over a new Weirton ordinance that creates a criminal charge for those under the influence of drugs in public.

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The Intelligencer reports the city council passed the law through an emergency reading in March. The ACLU chapter sent a letter April 6 and residents approached the council Monday.

Residents cited mental health concerns, vague language and inadequate law enforcement training and treatment provisions.

City Attorney Vince Gurrera is reviewing the letter and offered to speak with residents. He says the law was developed because of increased incidents. West Virginia has been hit hard by the opioid crisis.

Those convicted face up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail.