A bill sponsored by Hoboken Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. and other Assembly Democrats meant to crack down on steroid abuse in New Jersey's law enforcement and firefighting communities was approved Friday in an unanimous vote by the state Assembly.
The bill (A-1827) would require the Department of Law and Public Safety to include human growth hormones among the drugs to be monitored in the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.
The legislation comes after an extensive report by The Star-Ledger revealed widespread steroid abuse among police and firefighters across the state.
"It's bad enough that this abuse has been costing the taxpayers of this state millions of dollars," said Ramos, D-Hoboken. "But law enforcement officers susceptible to 'roid rage' pose a grave danger to the public safety. This measure will increase accountability and awareness and send a message that this behavior must stop."
The PMP was created in 2007 to monitor controlled dangerous substances dispensed in most outpatient settings.
Human growth hormone is not a controlled dangerous substance under federal and state laws, so prescriptions for human growth hormones would not be monitored as a matter of course under the PMP.
The bill is intended to ensure that human growth hormones are added to the monitoring program as soon as possible in light of recent investigations.
The legislation was co-sponsored by Assembly members Herb Conaway Jr., M.D., John McKeon, and Valerie Vainieri Huttle.