A bipartisan group of legislators joined the Delaware Department of Justice on March 16 in introducing legislation to address long-identified issues of complexity and conflict in Delaware’s criminal drug laws, as well as to make the laws more fair and increase penalties for repeatedly convicted drug dealers.

If passed, the state’s criminal drug laws will be easier to apply, and potential disparate impacts that the current laws have on residents of the state’s urban areas will be eliminated.

If passed, the act would:

— Simplify Delaware’s controlled substance laws by reducing the number of weight tiers that are used to categorize the severity of controlled substance offenses.

— Eliminate aggravating factors, some of which may cause Delaware’s controlled substance laws to be applied unfairly, while maintaining enhanced sentencing for those who violate Delaware’s controlled substance laws within a protected school zone.

— Provide enhanced minimum mandatory sentences for those who repeatedly commit the highest level drug dealing offenses; and

— Provide statutory guidance for the weighing and sampling procedures used at criminal trials for controlled substances.

The Delaware State Fraternal Order of Police is in support of the legislation.