Colorado law lowers penalties for single-use drug possession |

Colorado law lowers penalties for single-use drug possession

Colorado state capitol.
Denver Post file photo

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s governor has signed a law reducing penalties for single-use possession of many drugs.

KMGH-TV reported Tuesday that Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation Tuesday that “defelonizes” drug possession for Schedule I and II substances such as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and most other illicit drugs.

The new law says anyone found with a small amount of a drug will face a misdemeanor instead of a felony charge, while those suspected of dealing drugs will still face felony charges.

Supporters say the law is an effective way to stop “arresting away” community drug problems and will save taxpayer money.

Opponents say state savings will come at the expense of county taxpayers and jails, where those sentenced for the lesser crimes will be held.

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