ELIMINATE DRUG FREE ZONE ENHANCEMENTS

    1. Traci Thacker
    2. Petition by

      Traci Thacker

      Brownwood, TX

NON-VIOLENT drug offenders should not be sentenced twice by the DFZ zone enhancements essentially making non-violent drug offenders serve more time than child molesters, rapists, aggravated assaults, robberies, etc

Every year thousands of men and women are imprisoned on low level possession drug charges. The law requires that if you possess drugs within 1,000 feet of a "drug free zone" that the penalty is enhanced to the next level, ie. state jail to 3rd degree, 3rd degree to 2nd degree etc.
First of all, this law is flawed because it includes locations like parks, schools, and playgrounds BUT if you read the law it does not include colleges. The reasoning for this is that the legislators that created the law do not want their college students caught with a drug in college. Secondly, I would imagine everywhere is a "drug free zone" correct? The purpose is to deter drug dealers from selling drugs to children. Drug dealers have plenty of adults to sell to; they are not hanging at the parks selling to children like it shows on TV. Also, if one gets caught with a drug while driving by a specified "drug free zone" they will be charged with the penalty of a DFZ, if you live two blocks from a "drug free zone" and get caught with drugs you are charged with a DFZ. My point is that the intention of the law is not how it is being used. IF someone was at a school or a park selling drugs then, YES, by all means, punish them to the fullest extent.
The results of the DFZ law has been this: fathers (and mothers too) are taken away from their children for years. One rule of the DFZ law is that they must serve 5 years flat time or their entire sentence whichever is longer. Flat time means no parole. That means that child molesters, sexual assault cases, and other aggravated offenders are getting out on parole while a person who gets caught with a small amount of drugs in a DFZ is serving more time. These parents are in prison not taking care of their children. Not contributing a dime to society.
There are many others who disagree with this law including police, lawyers, and judges. This law is for prosecutors to get as many "notches" in their belt as possible.  "The war on drugs has unequivocally failed to meet every one of its stated goals. We have bravely fought the war on drugs for more than 40 years – arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning at ever-increasing levels. We have spent well over a trillion dollars and made more than 39 million arrests of nonviolent drug users" http://www.leap.cc/for-law-enforcement/corrections/
"Federal and state drug-free zone statutes have withstood challenges framed on
constitutional grounds.8 Appellate courts have shown little appetite for restricting
the reach of these laws, and have given great deference to legislatures and to law enforcement in reviewing the statutes’ construction and application. Legal challenges to drug-free zone statutes have raised four basic arguments:
• First, defendants have argued that the statutes violate the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy, penalizing them both for committing a drug offense, and for committing the same offense in a prohibited zone.
• Second, defendants have argued that the statutes violate the constitutional
requirement of due process by holding them criminally liable for unintentional
presence in a prohibited zone.

• Third, defendants have argued that the statutes fail to meet the constitutional standard of equal justice because they subject individuals, certain classes of individuals, or whole communities to harsher punishment than others for similar conduct. • Fourth, defendants have argued that particular applications of the statutes exceed the laws’ intent to protect children from drug activity." http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/SchoolZonesReport06.pdf

Other states have already taken steps: http://www.famm.org/newsandinformation/PressReleases/NewJerseyRollsBackDrugFreeZoneLaw.aspx

NON-VIOLENT drug offenders should not be sentenced twice by the DFZ zone enhancements essentially making non-violent drug offenders serve more time than child molesters, rapists, aggravated assaults, robberies, etc.!!

To:
ELIMINATE DRUG FREE ZONE ENHANCEMENTS

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Our Congressman Mike Conaway

      Traci Thacker
      Petition Organizer

      I added him to our email list.

    2. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 6 months ago

      My Ex-tenant takes and sells drugs, and he is a pimp and dangerous man and stalker! We must stop these monsters which are getting rich with the tears and destroyed lives of others!

      The Most Dangerous Drugs In The World!

      Like Ecstasy and methamphetamine, the drug known as “bath salts” is a designer drug, which means it’s synthetic, concocted in a lab. (On the street, it’s also sometimes called “bath powder,” “herbal incense,” or “plant food.”). What makes the term “bath salts” more confusing, though, is that name is used for a surprisingly large number of different chemical combinations. But the drug also apparently causes paranoid delusions and/or hallucinations. Experts are saying it’s psychoactive, rather than hallucinogenic like acid, but the end result appears to be similar: delusional beliefs acted upon in violent ways.

      Benzodiazepines

      This drug is psychoactive in nature and is used to treat problems of depression mostly. The action of this drug becomes dangerous when it is used in excess. The exact action of the drug on the nervous system is known with certainty and the specialists assert that it can cause many side effects. For example, slurred speech, drowsiness and severe depression and dependency.

      Crystal Meth

      This is yet another drug which acts as a stimulant and was indeed a great invention in the field psycho pharmacology. It also acts in suppressing one’s appetite. The action and the effects of this drug become dangerous to one’s health when it is used for recreational purposes. The common effects are dizziness, visual impairment, ADHD and restlessness.

      Ketamine

      This drug is a very powerful drug that can cause hallucinations and even paranoia. It has a number of effects on the human body including anesthesia, visual and auditory hallucinations and blood pressure problems. It has been reported for a number of recreational uses and in addiction.

      Street Methadone

      This drug has been reported as a form of an opiate drug. Its acts as an agonist in the nervous system and it also effects heavily on the neurotransmitters which are released in the human brain. The overdose of this drug can cause pneumonia, Hepatitis, and even a number of psychological disorders. The respiratory depressions and actions it causes can even cause death.

      Cocaine

      This drug is indeed a very dangerous drug which is known all around the world as the slow killer. This drug influences a number of neurotransmitters at the same time and is extremely dangerous to the nervous functioning of the brain. It is has been banned in many countries due to the number of deaths it has caused.

      Opiates

      Street names include Codeine, China White, Ddarvon, Darvocet, Demerol, dilaudid, heroin, methadone, Morphine, Percocet, Percodan, Talwin, and Vicodin. According to the United States Library of Medicine, many prescription drugs are characterized as opiates. Morphine is an opiate often legally prescribed to alleviate chronic pain; however, due to its addictive nature, it is administered in hospital settings. Other legally prescribed opiates include codeine, methadone and Oxycontin. One of the most common illegal opiates is heroin, a more concentrated form of morphine. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that heroin is so addictive that withdrawal symptoms can appear within hours of not using.!

      Heroin

      It is a derivative of opium and is the most dangerous drug responsible of thousands of deaths every year. The tolerance to this drug develops very fast and so the body demands more and more intake of this drug. The fatal side effects include shortness of breath, seizures, disorientation, abnormal behavior, cycles of knock outs and even the whole brain stops functioning at times leading to sudden death.

      LSD

      LSD produces unpredictable psychological effects, with "trips" lasting about 12 hours. With large enough doses, users experience delusions and hallucinations. Physical effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; sleeplessness; and loss of appetite.

      The Devil’s Breath

      This drug has the power to eliminate free will and wipe out memory and is being dealt with regularly on the streets of Colombia. Scopolamine, or ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ comes from a tree common to South America. Since scopolamine is odorless and tasteless, it can be blown in the face of a passerby on the street and, within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect. Leaving you hopeless with no free will, making you obey every order you are given.

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    • Susan Montgomery KNOXVILLE, TN
      • about 1 year ago

      Because I think it is a means of incriminating young people and negatively affecting their lives far beyond the harm their offenses may have caused

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    • Clark Maurice KNOXVILLE, TN
      • about 1 year ago

      We must stop the New Jim Crow!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Caressa Hardin KNOXVILLE, TN
      • about 1 year ago

      We are fighting against the same thing in tn. And we both need to stick together and don't give up and i will try to get some people to sign in tn and i would like for you to do the same

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    • Dennis Benson BROWNWOOD, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      I have a son that this has happened to....he was given a 25 yr enhanced sentance while others charged with the same offense got 8 mos!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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