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Florida Drug Reform - Text of Proposed Legislation

GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications
www.tgorski.com
Published On: July 11, 2001          Updated On: April 13, 2002
© Terence T. Gorski, 2001

Florida will be considering drug reform legislation entitled The Right To Treatment and Rehabilitation for Non-violent Drug Offenses.  This proposed legislation is already generating some heated debate.  Before jumping into the debate, it's a good idea to review the text of the actual proposed legislation.  Here it is.  This is the exact text formatted in a way that makes it easier to read and understand.  None of the wording has been changed.  You can check it against the version published by the State of Florida to be sure.

Keep watching this site for Gorski's Analysis of this proposed legislation.

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Florida Drug Reform 2001 - Text of Proposed Legislation

Go To Text of Legislation On State of Florida Website
(http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/34424-1.htm)

Reference:  Article I, Section 26

Ballot Title:  Right to Treatment and Rehabilitation 
                        for Nonviolent Drug Offenses

Ballot Summary:

Individuals charged or convicted of possessing or purchasing controlled substances or drug paraphernalia may elect appropriate treatment as defined, instead of sentencing or incarceration, for first two offenses; discretionary with court thereafter.  Excludes individuals committing serious crimes in same episode or convicted or in prison for violent crimes in past five years.  Individual unamenable to treatment may be prosecuted or sentenced.  Upon successful completion or eighteen months in treatment, no prosecution or sentencing. Legislative implementation.

Full Text:

Article I, Section 26, Florida Constitution, is hereby created to read as follows:

Right to Treatment and Rehabilitation

a.    Any individual charged with or convicted of illegally possessing or purchasing a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia may elect to receive appropriate treatment as described in subsection (c), instead of being sentenced or incarcerated, which shall be a matter of right for the first and second offense after enactment of this section and at the discretion of the court for subsequent offenses. If more than one qualifying offense under this section occurs during a single criminal episode, it shall be considered a single offense. For purposes of this section, an individual who elects to receive appropriate treatment prior to conviction shall be deemed to have waived the right to a speedy trial.

b.    This section shall not apply to any individual who in connection with the same criminal episode as the drug offense described in (a) is also charged with or convicted of: 

∑     any felony; any misdemeanor involving theft, violence or the threat of violence; 

∑     trafficking, sale, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance; 

∑     purchase or possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia; or 

∑     operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. 

This section also shall not apply to any individual who, within five years before committing the drug offense described in (a), ∑     has been convicted of, or in prison for, one of the serious or violent crimes described in Section 775.084(1)(c)1.a.-r., Florida Statutes (2000), or such other violent crimes as may be provided by law.

c.     For purposes of this section, "appropriate treatment" means a state-approved drug treatment and/or rehabilitation treatment program, or set of programs, designed to reduce or eliminate substance abuse or drug dependency and to increase employability. 

Such program or programs shall include, as deemed appropriate, access to vocational training, literacy training, family counseling, mental health services, or similar support services. 

The determination of the type and duration of the appropriate treatment program or programs that an individual shall receive, and methods of monitoring the individualís progress while in treatment, shall be made by a qualified professional as defined in Section 397.311(25), Florida Statutes (2000).

d.    An individual receiving appropriate treatment under this section may be transferred to a different program due to violations of program rules or unsuitability to the form of treatment initially prescribed

An individual may be removed from appropriate treatment if, after multiple programs and violations, and upon an independent evaluation by a qualified professional as defined in Section 397.311(25), Florida Statutes (2000), the individual is found by the court to be unamenable to treatment and rehabilitation. 

Any such individual removed from appropriate treatment who has been convicted of the drug offense described in (a) may be sentenced for the offense. 

Prosecution may be recommenced against any individual removed from appropriate treatment who has not yet been convicted, and a conviction resulting from such prosecution may result in a criminal sentence without regard to this section.

e.    Appropriate treatment shall be terminated upon an individualís successful completion of the prescribed course of appropriate treatment, or upon an independent evaluation and finding by a qualified professional as defined in Section 397.311(25), Florida Statutes (2000), that an individualís appropriate treatment has been successful, or eighteen months after the date the individual elected to receive appropriate treatment, whichever occurs first. 

Upon termination of appropriate treatment, the individual may not be prosecuted, sentenced, or placed under continued court supervision for the offense which led to the appropriate treatment.

f.     This section shall become effective on July 1 of the year following passage by the voters, and shall apply prospectively only to qualifying drug offenses occurring on or after that date.

g.    The Legislature shall enact such laws as necessary to implement this section.

Go To Text of Legislation On State of Florida Website
(http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/34424-1.htm)

Sponsor of Legislation: Florida Campaign for New Drug Policies (PAC)
Status:                           Active
Address:                        168 S.E. 1st Street, Suite 606
                                      Miami, FL 33131
                                      (305) 424-1123
Committee Type:           Political Committee (PAC)
Chairman:                     Sydney P. Smith
Treasurer:                     Sydney P. Smith
Purpose:                       Drugs
Affiliations:                   Campaign for New Drug Policies (Organization)

Check On Changes of This Bill On The Florida State Initiative list
http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/initiativelist.asp

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