Smoking is now allowed in New York State parks after a state Supreme Court Justice decided the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Perseveration exceeded its authority by banning smoking. YNN's Jessica Chen reports.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Visitors to New York State's parks are now able to smoke on the grounds. The reversal of the no smoking ban in parks comes after a recent ruling by New York State Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia Jr.
"It gets me a little upset about that," said Middletown resident, Rena Bates.
In February, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Perseveration banned smoking in these areas. However, the founder of New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, or C.L.A.S.H, filed a lawsuit against the state park saying the agency overstepped its boundaries by imposing the ban.
"It was enacted by a state agency my reaction was you cant do that," said Audrey Silk, C.L.A.S.H. founder.
In the ruling, Justice Ceresia stated the state park extended their reach beyond interstitial rule-making and into the realm of legislating.
"It has to come from a bill proposed by a state senator or an assembly and go through both houses. It cannot come from parks period," said Silk.
So now, the parks have been instructed to take down all of the no smoking signs.
"Had it been a ban by the state legislature, I'd be 'your ban is unjustifiable because there is no harm in second hand smoking outdoors'," said Silk.
Bates disagrees, and says it will harmfully affect park-goers.
"Children can get second hand smoke from people hanging out near the playground," said Bates.
A call was made to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Perseveration for comment, but no one returned the call.