Drug-free school zones, which became popular in the late 1980s, are under reconsideration in many states as the focus has shifted from crack cocaine to opioids, according to Stateline . The zones were established as a way to deter dealers from selling drugs to children, the article notes. Some states, such as Kentucky, Delaware, Indiana and Utah, are reducing the size of the zones as they try to shrink the population of nonviolent drug offenders in prisons. States including Texas, Arkansas and Hawaii are increasing the size of their drug-free school zones in response to the opioid epidemic. They have added parks, playgrounds and other areas where children play. They are imposing heavy penalties for those caught with drugs in those areas, even if they possess small amounts.
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