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HB19-1263

Offense Level For Controlled Substance Possession

Concerning changing the penalty for certain violations pursuant to the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013", and, in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation.
Session:
2019 Regular Session
Subjects:
Courts & Judicial
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

Controlled substances - possession offenses - sentencing - substance use and mental health treatment - appropriation. The act makes possession of 4 grams or less of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II a level 1 drug misdemeanor; except that possession of any amount of gamma hydroxybutyrate or a fourth or subsequent offense for possession of 4 grams or less of a schedule I or II controlled substance or any amount of a schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance is a level 4 drug felony.

The act makes possession of more than 6 ounces of marijuana or more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate a level 1 drug misdemeanor and possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana concentrate a level 2 drug misdemeanor. The act clarifies that a person may not be arrested for the petty offense of possession of not more than 2 ounces of marijuana. A court may issue a warrant for arrest of a person who fails to appear in court as required by a summons for that possession offense.

A court is permitted to suspend a sentence to complete useful public service pursuant to the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013" when the sentence interferes with treatment or other probation requirements imposed by the court. A court is not required to sentence a person to complete useful public service if the person receives diversion or a deferred sentence. Only those convicted of a felony drug offense must submit to the fingerprinting and photographing requirements of the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013".

Persons convicted of the level 1 drug misdemeanors related to unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana or marijuana concentrate may be punished by a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail or 2 years probation, with up to 180 days in jail as a condition of, or for a violation of, probation. For a third or subsequent offense, a person may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail. In addition to any other sentence, the person convicted is subject to a maximum $1,000 fine.

Persons convicted of the level 2 drug misdemeanors related to unlawful use of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana or marijuana concentrate, unlawful use or possession of certain synthetic controlled substances, or abusing toxic vapors may be punished by a sentence of up to 120 days in the county jail or one year probation, with up to 120 days in jail as a condition of, or for a violation of, probation. For a third or subsequent offense, a person may be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail. In addition to any other sentence, the person convicted is subject to a maximum $500 fine.

The community substance use and mental health services grant program is established in the department of local affairs to provide grants to counties that provide substance use or mental health treatment services to, facilitate diversion programs for, or develop other strategies to reduce jail and prison bed use by, persons who come into contact with the criminal justice system. A county is eligible to receive a grant if it provides such treatment services and programs in collaboration with public health agencies, law enforcement agencies, and community-based organizations.

For the 2019-20 state fiscal year, $123,139 is appropriated from the general fund to the judicial department for probation programs to implement the act.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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