Background on the SABRE drug war plan                                                                                                    Jan 24, 2000

SABRE Explanation:
In the early nineties the state began developing a system of community diversion programs that would help drug offenders get treatment without packing them off to distant prisons away from their families. Those put our state in the vanguard of sensible drug policy and are working very well today. But conservatives in the Gilmore administration are not happy that prison space is reserved for dangerous offenders. They want to send the most petty drug user to state prisons where human rights violations are taking place at an unprecedented rate according to international human rights organizations.

The following  SABRE bills would greatly increase the harm caused by drugs in our state:

{Please note: Because of changes in the juvenile justice procedures all of the following penalty increases mean more juveniles will be sent into prison with adults. There they have a high chance of exposure to sexually transmitted disease and tuberculosis.}

HB 282 Repeals the three-year disparity rule so that youngsters dealing with their slightly younger peers will be subject to much longer prison terms for selling to minors.

HB 285 and SB 45 & 218 Our own DEA! 210 new state police to pretending to buy or sell, spying and kicking down doors. SB 218 gives us our own Drug Czar (A department of propaganda and urine testing.) Huge new state agencies to protect us from ourselves!

HB 357 and SB 128  For arbitrarily calculated amounts of drugs estimated to be possessed over long periods of time, mandatory minimum of 20 years to life.

HB 383 and SB 153 Severely increases penalties up to life in prison by
reducing the thresholds for being declared a "Drug Kingpin". Arbitrary calculations as in previous bill also apply.

HB 381 & 382 and SB 109 Severely increase mandatory minimum for possession
with intent to distribute or transporting drugs into the Commonwealth or in the case of a previous conviction to - up to life.

HB 384 and SB 155 Require first time drug offenders to undergo mandatory
substance abuse screening and also be forced to undergo constant drug
testing . Those who fail will be committed to state mental hospitals.  Also allows for felons with any drug history to receive additional punishment.

HB 157 Harsh mandatory minimums add on (i.e., cannot be consecutive)
sentence for transporting drug into state (marijuana above 5
lbs) (Medical needs are no exception).

HB 307 Tougher sanctions for simple possession, for mere transportation.
Creates a separate offense from the possession of those same drugs.

HB 385 and SB 108 Require mandatory minimum jail time of one year for a
drug sale around a school. {This targets young offenders see note at top of list.}

HB 289 & SB 199 Harsh penalties for possession or distribution of drugs in
prison. SB199 applies to marijuana only.

HB 300 Eliminates defense for any concentration or drugs or alcohol
found in a driver's blood and is considered under the influence of drugs.

SB 118 Enacts a change in criminal procedures that would make more work for defense attorneys and result in more drug convictions.

 You can send a FAX to your representatives the FAX Numbers are as follows:

Senate:  (804)698-7651

House of Delegates:   (804)786-3215

The toll free comment line is (800)889-0229. It operates from 7A.M. to 7 P.M. on business days.

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Virginians Against Drug Violence is a voluntary association of persons
who participate in activities directed at changing drug policy in our state.
We have a vision of peace, which recognizes that imprisonment and other
dehumanizing methods are not good ways to achieve temperance. For more
 information call or write Lennice Werth at (804)645-7838 Rt.3 Box 692,Crewe,
VA 23930
 Email: or