Rob Moritz with our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, looks into legislator concerns regarding newly enacted sentencing reform laws.
Reps. Nate Bell (R-Mena) and David Sanders (R-Little Rock) have asked for a legislative hearing in September to air concerns they’ve gathered regarding the new prison reform measure, which took effect on July 27.
From Moritz’s report:
One concern Bell said he has with Act 570 is the provision that lowers the charge for possessing a half-ounce or less of marijuana. Before the change, possessing a half-ounce or less of the drug was a felony on second and subsequent offenses.
“We have a very, very low tolerance for drug offenses of any type,” said Bell, who represents parts of Polk and Montgomery counties in western Arkansas. “Something like that may be in the normal course of business in Little Rock, for instance, but it is a big bust in Polk County and our law enforcement has kept that in check.
“What may work well in Little Rock is probably not going to work well in rural Arkansas. It’s one of the double-edge swords you have when you pass a law. It has to apply to everybody, and that’s a concern I have.”
You can read the full story here.
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