HARTFORD — State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) on Thursday spoke out against a bill that would shrink the size of drug-free zones from 1,500 feet to 300 feet.
The legislation, H.B. 6511, is propelled largely by legislators who represent urban centers. According to a press release issued by Zupkus’ office, they 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 and daycare centers.
Zupkus said the bill sends the wrong message.
“We should do everything we can to keep drugs away from children, but this proposal runs counter to that goal,” said Zupkus, a member of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, in the press release. “Selling drugs near a school carries a stiff penalty today, but it won’t be nearly as tough if this bill passes.”
The proposal seeks to shrink the drug-free zones in every community throughout Connecticut, no matter the population size.
The bill was “passed temporarily” last week, meaning it was withdrawn for the time being, but could be recalled before the legislative session ends June 5.
“This bill doesn’t do anything to help parents in the very difficult and often constant fight to keep their children away from drugs,” Zupkus said. “It only helps drug dealers.”