Never mind how the 51 'yea' votes plans to pay for the new law; they just voted to override the 'ignorant' voters who returned them to office just last November.
HB1482 is a bill which creates felonies where there used to be misdemeanors. To simply possess a controlled substance without proof of a valid prescription, is now punishable by 5 years in prison, where there used to be a 1 year incarceration cap.
What's more troubling is that the "Felony Zones" are hardly recognizable in many of the situations where it would be prosecuted.
Aside from the fact that this measure insults and undermines the voters who overwhelmingly approved SQ780, on the same November day that they elected these lawmakers; the weakness of the bill is in the application.
HB1482 sets up thousands of invisible "Felony Zones" where penalties jump to 5 times as much prison time.
The bill sailed through Rep. Scott Biggs' Judiciary Committee on an 11-1 vote. It passed the House floor vote on a slimmest 51 vote majority.
Private home & neighborhood enterprises in childcare and house-churches are seldom made obvious, but if a controlled substance is found on any person's property within a 1000-ft radius of the property (not just the building), elevates the same crime by a factor of 5. Doe the bill's language include Homeschools? apprenticeship service trades? Weekly bible study group sites, Coffee Shops where educational groups meet? There lacks any legal definition for many of the terms used, for purposes of enforcing state laws like this. Nor is there any requirement that the zone or institution post a legally-acceptable notice that the enterprise has just self-imposed a felony zone. Nor does the legislation define whether a boarded-up former enterprise still imposes the felony zone.
The statute is not prosecuting distribution or manufacturing. So just tossing a pill in a person's car, backpack, yard, or coat pocket can render that person's life ruined by a felony record and a 5 year sentence.
Homes currently falling inside these newly created "Felony Zones" are not exempted by any grandfather clause. This means a veteran PTSD sufferer who smokes who smokes pot before bedtime, will be charged and prosecuted with a 5-times more severe sentence even though he's in the privacy of his own home.
Section C of HB1486 says;
C. Any person who violates any provision of this section by possessing or purchasing a controlled dangerous substance from any person, in or on, or within one thousand (1,000) feet of the real property comprising a day care, public or private elementary or secondary school, public vocational school, public or private college or university, or other institution of higher education, church, recreation center or public park, including state parks, fairgrounds and recreation areas, or in the presence of any child under twelve (12) years of age, shall be guilty of a felony and