Lowering the Threshold

A new law in Illinois could help crack down on heroin dealers. Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a law that stiffens penalties for heroin possession, making jail time mandatory for individuals busted with three grams of heroin. That’s now lower than the previous five grams.

“If we’re dealing with small time dealers out here and small time people who do this, if they know they’re going to be hit just as hard as the big time dealers, then maybe it might make them think a little bit harder and say ‘ok maybe I don’t want to do this,’” said Sergeant Gregg Bell of the Naperville Police Department.

Here in Naperville, there have been eight heroin-related deaths in the past 19 months. Police say the law will hopefully prevent more deaths from happening and send a message to dealers in the area.

“It’s those that are bringing the poison into our community,” said Michael Connelly, State Representative, 48th District. “We need to send them a message that we’re watching you and that there’s going to be zero tolerance and our state’s attorney’s office is going to be empowered to make you pay for bringing this poison into town.”

The law also bans flavored wrapping paper, known as blunt wraps, which are often marketed to young people. The new law goes into effect immediately.

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