Feb 23, 2010 9:38 AM by Associated Press

Lawmakers propose changes to drug sentencing

Drug users could end up getting treatment instead of long prison sentences under legislation picking up bipartisan support at the Capitol. Republican Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs plans to introduce a bill this week that would change the standard for when someone is prosecuted as a drug user as opposed to a drug dealer.

Currently, the tipping point for determining whether someone is dealing or using is whether they have more or less than 1 gram. The bill would change that to 4 grams for most drugs. Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman and Republican Sen. Shawn Mitchell plan to back the proposal in the Senate.

Waller says the current system wastes money by putting addicts in prison. He wants to use the money saved from reduced sentences to pay for drug treatment.


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