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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

Under existing law, possession of any amount of flunitrazepam, ketamine, cathinones, or a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II is a level 4 drug felony. Possession of a controlled substance listed in schedule III, IV, or V, except flunitrazepam or ketamine, is a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The bill makes possession of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II a level 1 drug misdemeanor, except that possession of gamma hydroxybutyrate is a level 4 drug felony. The bill makes conforming amendments related to making the possession offense a misdemeanor.

Under existing law, possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana or more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate is a level 4 drug felony, and possession of 6 to 12 ounces of marijuana or not more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate is a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The bill makes possession of more than 6 ounces of marijuana or more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate a level 1 drug misdemeanor and makes possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana concentrate a level 2 drug misdemeanor.

Under existing law, failure to appear after being released on summons or written promise to appear following arrest or detention for the petty offense of possession of not more than 2 ounces of marijuana is a class 3 misdemeanor. The bill clarifies that a person may not be arrested for the petty offense of possession of not more than 2 ounces of marijuana and that a court may issue a warrant for arrest of a person who fails to appear in court as required by a summons for the possession offense.

Under existing law, abusing toxic vapors is a level 2 drug misdemeanor and punishable with a sentence to jail for a second offense. The bill clarifies that a person may not be sentenced to jail specifically for a second offense.

Existing law requires a person convicted of an offense pursuant to the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013" (act) to be sentenced to complete useful public service unless that person is sentenced to the department of corrections or a community corrections facility. The bill permits a court to suspend a sentence to complete useful public service when it interferes with treatment or other probation requirements imposed by the court. The bill removes the useful public service requirement for persons receiving diversion or a deferred sentence. The bill requires only those convicted of a felony drug offense to submit to the fingerprinting and photographing requirements of the act.

The bill requires persons convicted of the level 1 drug misdemeanors related to unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana or marijuana concentrate to 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, and a maximum $1,000 fine.

The bill requires 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 to 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, and a maximum $500 fine.

The county court drug court grant program is established in the judicial department to provide grants to the county court of a city and county to establish and operate a misdemeanor drug court or to conduct screening, assessment, diversion, or treatment, or provide supervision, for drug offenders. In order to be eligible for a grant, the city and county must not receive state funding to operate the county court.

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.

The bill makes an appropriation.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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