State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-1432) has voiced strenuous opposition to a proposal to eliminate drug-free zones surrounding school property and reduces all felony drug possession charges to a misdemeanor.
The legislation, governor’s bill SB 952, is called the Second Chance Society. It moved forward April 10 after a 22-20 vote in the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.
According to a press release from Lavielle’s office, the bill would make the possession of any quantity of a narcotic or controlled substance a misdemeanor offense. It also shrinks the size of current drug-free school zones, for the purposes of possession, from 1,500 feet around school property to include only the school property itself.
“Under this proposal, anyone can get away with a slap on the wrist for possessing unlimited amounts of drugs like heroin, cocaine, or marijuana within sight of a school as long as it happens on the opposite side of the street,” she said.
In his budget address to the General Assembly in February, Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke at length about a “Second Chance Society” and its role in stimulating the state’s economy by giving “more people a chance at finding gainful employment” and emphasizing reform over punishment.
“Connecticut is proving that smart criminal justice reforms can lead to safer communities, fewer victims, and more opportunity for success,” Malloy said. “The bill I submit to you today offers a second chance to non-violent offenders: