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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

A common-sense approach to fixing an injustice across Florida


The Florida Legislature is poised to do a most wonderful thing. In an absolute bipartisan showing, Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, and Rep. Dave Hood, R-Daytona Beach, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, have proposed legislation that would dramatically increase the amount of prescription narcotic pain mediation levels subject to mandatory-minimum sentencing laws.

Bipartisan politics have been thrown aside in the name of common-sense solutions to the expensive problems that have occurred when low-level, nonviolent drug abusers are subject to minimum-mandatory prison sentences for feeding their addictions.

These bipartisan sponsors have identified these problems and are trying to fix them.

The Senate recently voted unanimously to pass its version of this legislation. The House, it is hoped, will follow suit and pass this bill.

Those citizens of Florida who suffer pain prescription drug medication addictions would be able to receive the counseling and drug treatment they need much more economically than being warehoused in our prisons and labeled convicted felons.

Jamie Benjamin is president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He practices law in Fort Lauderdale.

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