Zupkus opposes reducing drug free zones

Lezlye Zupkus

Lezlye Zupkus

HARTFORD — State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) has voiced her opposition to the renewed effort to shrink the size of drug free zones.

The legislation, S.B. 259, would reduce the size of the zones from 1,500 to 200 feet. The bill is being championed by legislators from urban centers who contend people arrested for drug-related offenses in their communities can’t escape enhanced penalties applied to crimes inside drug-free zones due to the concentration of schools, daycare centers and public housing.

The legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved and advanced the bill April 2 in a 21-19 vote, according to a release issued by Zupkus’ office. The proposal awaits consideration in the state Senate.

Zupkus contends the bill sends the wrong message to children and their parents.

“This is simply one of those proposals that runs counter to what the people I represent expect their government to do,” said Zupkus, a member of the Public Safety Committee, in the release. “Parents expect us to do everything we can to keep drugs away from their children — this legislation is an invitation to come closer.”

Zupkus said she’ll vote against it if the bill makes it to the House floor.

“This bill lends no help to parents in the persistent and difficult struggle to keep their children away from drugs,” Zupkus said. “It only helps people who sell them.”