What is a Drug Free Zone- Texas Law

Texas’ Drug Free Zone (DFZ) law is a testament to the failure of Prohibition. If our drug war worked special laws to keep drugs out of certain areas wouldn’t be necessary. But I digress.

So what is a Drug Free Zone?
Basically in, on, or within 1,000 feet of premises owned, rented, or leased by an institution of higher learning, the premises of a public or private youth center, or a playground; or in, on, or within 300 feet of the premises of a public swimming pool or video arcade facility or on a school bus.

The DFZ fantasy is that cops are busting drug dealers who prey on innocent school children. In my experience most DFZ charges are brought against adults with a joint in their car 900 feet away from a prohibited area. Local cops quickly learn which roads are in a DFZ, and adjust their traffic stop/fishing for drugs activity accordingly.

What happens to a DFZ case?
This is fairly complicated. Basically, the punishments are increased. More jail time, probation can be denied, sentences can be stacked. Read this great article from TDCAA for more info.

Wait a minute, this law would make every college a drug free zone. I’ve been to college and it’s no drug free zone.

Good observation. Since most legislators went to college, and/or have kids in college, some DFZ provisions don’t apply to college campuses. For example, simple marijuana possession on a college campus doesn’t fall under the DFZ law.

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