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Rally in downtown Knoxville aims for smaller drug-free school zones

Kevin Connelly • Mar 28, 2013 at 9:42 PM

With about 70 supporters marching behind him, chanting and holding up protest signs, Maurice Clark led a Thursday afternoon rally from Market Square to the City County Building in downtown Knoxville, aimed at changing drug laws.

Clark’s organization, One Nation By Conviction, was protesting the increased punishment that’s handed down to drug offenders who violate Tennessee’s Drug Free School Zone Act. The group has argued that mandatory sentencings are doing more harm than good to children — disrupting families when a parent winds up being sent to prison for a portion of their childhood.

“We’re not saying that they should be able to break the law and get away with it,” Clark said Thursday. “We’re just saying that they’re breaking the law, but they’re gone for longer periods than the law broken really justifies.”

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