Boucher: Bill Aimed at A Second Chance is a “Get out of Jail Free” Card and the Height of Hypocrisy

April 13, 2015

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) released the following statement today re: Senate Bill 952 the Governor’s bill regarding a Second Chance Society.

“I did not support this bill because it moves the people of Connecticut backwards instead of forward. I believe in a second chance for everybody but when you break the law 5, 10, 50, 500 times shouldn’t there be a limit?

“What are people thinking? This bill would remove of drug free school zones for any student who decides to carry any amount of drugs onto school property, whether public or private and day care centers are included too.

“Any amount. Is that a car full of heroin? A room full of pot? or truckload of cocaine? The answer is this bill does not provide for any limit, none. If someone in possession of any amount of heroin, crack or marijuana knows that they are only subject to a misdemeanor for having pot or heroin in their back packs or their vehicles, the Judiciary Committee is creating a big problem and sending a very dangerous message by passing this bill.

“The hypocrisy of this bill is clear when you consider that the legislature is cracking down on e-cigarettes available to kids and preventing pesticides to be sprayed on school fields – yet this bill allows the most vulnerable to possess heroin or cocaine at school.
“What message are we sending to our children?”

“Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia all have 1,000 feet Drug free Zones.

“Oklahoma, South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama all have 2,000 feet drug free school zones and Hawaii has a 750 foot zone. While, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wyoming, and Vermont have 500 feet drug free school zones. Arizona and Delaware have a 300 feet zones. Why Connecticut would go from 1,500 feet to zero is troubling and a major move backward from all other states!

“This piece of legislation comes on the heels of another devastating bill passed out of the Judiciary committee last week. That bill allows minors as young as 4 or 5 years old to use medical marijuana. The brain is still developing when a child is young. Studies show these substances can alter adolescent development and can permanently damage the health and cognitive function of a child’s brain.”

If Senate Bill 952 is approved by the full general assembly simple drug possession by a student on school property would go from a felony to a misdemeanor.

If a teacher or staff member is caught possessing drugs they could still be subject to the felony charge.

The 1,500-foot drug free zone remains in place for the sale, or distribution of drugs. Those offenses remain a felony and carry a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.