Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to illegally manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance or marijuana in, on, or within any real property which has been designated under this Code section as a drug-free commercial zone.

(b)(1) Any person who violates or conspires to violate subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall receive the following punishment: (A) Upon a first conviction, imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00, or both; or (B) Upon a second or subsequent conviction, imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 40 years or a fine of not more than $40,000.00, or both. (2) A sentence imposed under this Code section shall be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. (3) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section may, as a condition of probation or parole, be required by the sentencing court or State Board of Pardons and Paroles to refrain for a period of not more than 24 months from entering or at any time being within the boundaries of the drug- free commercial zone wherein such person was arrested for a violation of this Code section. Any person arrested for violation of his or her terms of probation shall be governed by the provisions of Code Section 42-8-38 and any person arrested for a violation of his or her terms of parole shall be governed by the provisions of Article 2 of Chapter 9 of Title 42.

(c) A conviction arising under this Code section shall not merge with a conviction arising under any other provision of this article.

(d) Any municipality or county may designate one or more commercial areas where there is a high rate of drug related crime as drug-free commercial zones. A drug-free commercial zone may include only an area which the municipality or county has previously zoned commercial pursuant to its planning and zoning powers and any residential area contiguous to such commercially zoned area extending not more than one-half mile from the external boundary of any portion of the commercially zoned area. A municipality or county which designates one or more areas as drug-free commercial zones shall be required to make such designations by ordinance and shall be required to post prominent and conspicuous signs on the boundaries of and throughout any such drug-free commercial zone. A municipality or county shall be required to file with the Department of Community Affairs a copy of each ordinance which shall have attached a clearly defined map describing each drug-free commercial zone and a report evidencing all drug related crimes in such drug- free commercial zone area during the 12 months preceding the enactment of such ordinance. A municipality or county shall also be required to file with the Department of Community Affairs, during the period that a drug-free commercial zone is in effect, annual reports evidencing all drug related crimes in such drug-free commercial zone. Such ordinances, maps, and drug crime reports shall be maintained in a permanent register by such department, and copies of such ordinances, maps, and drug crime reports of drug-free commercial zones shall be made available to the public at a reasonable cost. A drug-free commercial zone shall not be effective and valid for the purposes of this Code section until it has been adopted by the General Assembly by general law. After the General Assembly has adopted one or more drug-free commercial zones, the governing authority of each municipality or county which has such a zone or zones designated and adopted shall be required to have a description of each such zone published in the legal organ of the municipality or county at least once a week for three weeks. A drug-free commercial zone adopted by the General Assembly shall remain in effect for five years and shall expire five years from the effective date of such adoption by the General Assembly. An area which has been a drug-free commercial zone may be continued as or again designated as a drug-free commercial zone upon the enactment of an ordinance and adoption thereof by the General Assembly in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. No arrest for a violation of this Code section shall be permissible for a period of 30 days immediately following the effective date of the adoption of such drug-free commercial zone by the General Assembly.

(e) In a prosecution under this Code section, a true copy of a map produced or reproduced by any municipal or county agency or department for the purpose of depicting the location and boundaries of any drug-free commercial zone and filed and on record at the Department of Community Affairs shall, if certified as a true copy by the custodian of such records at such department, be admissible and shall constitute prima-facie evidence of the location and boundaries of such zone. A map approved under this Code section may be revised from time to time by the governing body of the municipality or county; provided, however, that a revised map shall not become effective and the revised area shall not be a drug-free commercial zone until the revised map has been filed with the Department of Community Affairs and adopted by the General Assembly by general law; provided, further, that the revision of a drug-free commercial zone shall not extend the expiration date of such a drug-free commercial zone. The original copy of every map approved or revised under this subsection or a true copy of such original map shall be filed with the Department of Community Affairs and shall be maintained as an official record of the department. This subsection shall not preclude the prosecution from introducing or relying upon any other evidence or testimony to establish any element of this offense.

(f) The General Assembly hereby adopts and incorporates into this Code section all drug-free commercial zones which have been adopted by municipal or county ordinance and entered in the register of the Department of Community Affairs as provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section on or before July 1, 2015.