Heated debate as the Minnesota Senate Monday afternoon passed a bill to ease penalties for low-level drug offenses, while significant dealers and kingpins would get more prison time. Chanhassen Republican Julianne Ortman warned some punishments are too low. Ortman says, “Those insidious drug dealers — on our streets, in our communities, selling to our kids — they’ll get less punishment.” Bill sponsor, Saint Louis Park Democrat Ron Latz responds the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Chiefs of Police Association and the County Attorneys Association apparently all have a different view because they all support the bill. The goal is to make treatment available to more addicts instead of sending them to prison.
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