Boston Is a Drug-Free Zone


The Drug War Chronicle notes that a leading Massachusetts judge this week condemned the state's "drug-free zone" law, which imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for drug possession within 1,000 feet of a school. Judge Robert A. Mulligan, chief justice for administration and management, told A.P. that offenders sentenced under the law are overwhelmingly ethnic minorities because the law applies disproportionately to cities, where few areas are not near a school. In Boston, for example, "unless you're on the tarmac of Logan Airport, you're within 1,000 feet of a school." Furthermore, although the ostensible aim of the law is to protect children, it applies throughout the year and at all hours of the day, whether or not school is in session. The upshot is that children who aren't there are being protected from some schlemazel who happens to be caught walking down the street with a little pot in his pocket.

And who was the champion of this mindlessly draconian law when it was passed 15 years ago? Michael Dukakis, that card-carrying ACLU member.