Issue Position: Sentences for Drug Offenses

Issue Position

By:  Claire Levy
Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Unknown

Low-level drug offenders continue to be sentenced to the Department of Corrections and occupy expensive prison beds. I believe the law should distinguish between offenses that arise out of use and possession and those that arise out of manufacturing and distribution. I will be sponsoring legislation that will reclassify Class 6 felony possession offenses down to a Class 1 misdemeanor. That means prison will not be an available sentence and offenders will not have a felony record. Instead, they will be eligible for treatment for addiction disorders. It is time to treat drug use and possession as more of a health problem than a criminal problem. Prison beds should be reserved for people who threaten the safety of the public.