This shouldn’t be a very remarkable bill, but it is in a way. The Utah House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted 7-1 to reduce drug-free zones from 1,000 feet to 500 feet and to remove places such as parking plazas.
Ideally, the revised zones will restore the focus on protecting the children in the places they most frequently congregate, said the sponsor of HB231, Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan.
Since the drug-free zones were created in the 1980s, they have been “diluted” by expanded definitions that have made entire cities drug-free zones, Harper said.
In fact, drug free zones have been nothing more than an extra charge for prosecutors to pile on in the cities and have had nothing to do with protecting children.
Now I think drug zones are a pretty stupid idea, and a 500 foot radius still ends up covering more than four Manhattan-sized city blocks, but at least this is a small step in reversing the lemming-like trend of politicians mindlessly and incoherently increasing every drug-related penalty or prohibition they can find.