Senate bill seeks to deter
dealing drugs near children

Associated Press

Legislature 2003

Legislature Directory

Legislature Bills & Hawaii Revised Statutes

Drug dealers caught plying their illegal trade where children congregate would face serious prison time under a bill approved yesterday by the state Senate.

The House earlier approved the bill making it a Class C felony for pushing illegal drugs in public parks, expanding the current law that makes selling drugs at or near a school a felony.

The Senate's measure would add not only parks, but also shopping malls, theaters, arcades, libraries, church grounds, bowling alleys and beaches to the protected areas.

A first-time offender could face up to five years in prison under the bill, House Bill 564, Senate Draft 1.

A repeat offender would face up to 10 years in prison with a mandatory minimum term of two years.

Children and adolescents are easily influenced by their peers and elders, and decreasing a child's exposure to drugs may lower the chance they will use drugs, said the Senate Judiciary Committee in recommending approval of the bill.

The bill goes back to the House, which can either accept the Senate's changes or negotiate a final version.

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