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Tougher Drug Laws In The Works | Missouri Political News Service

Tougher Drug Laws In The Works

May 15th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

It seems Gov. Blunt will sign the legislation into law too


Published Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) – People who sell drugs near a park could face a life prison sentence under legislation sent yesterday to Gov. Matt Blunt.

The legislation makes it a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison, to sell heroin, cocaine, LSD, amphetamine or methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of city, county, state or private parks.

State law already allows for up to life sentences for manufacturing and selling drugs within 2,000 feet of schools, colleges and school buses.

Selling drugs anywhere is a Class B felony with a prison sentence of five to 15 years.

Critics said the state is moving in the wrong direction to lengthen sentences for drug dealers.

“With our prisons being overcrowded, with the numerous people in prison for nonviolent crimes, there’s a real concern on my part that someone could go to prison for life for selling drugs,” said Sen. Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis.

But supporters said it’s necessary to keep parks safe for families and protect vulnerable children from being lured into using drugs.

“We are creating more problems by allowing this kind of activity in the parks with our children,” said Sen. Yvonne Wilson, D-Kansas City. “We are enhancing the expectancy or opportunity for more to go to prison.”

The Senate passed the bill 29-4 yesterday. It passed the House in April by a 124-26 vote.

The drugs-in-parks language is part of a broader bill.

The measure also makes state property any historically valuable shipwrecks that are at least 50 years old on navigable or formerly navigable waters.



Tags: MO Legislature

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