HARTFORD - Connecticut's laws against low-level drug offenders could become more lenient following a vote at the state Capitol Wednesday.

Under a plan approved by a key legislative committee, a person would be released from jail immediately until trial if he or she was charged with a misdemeanor drug crime.

If later convicted, the charge would automatically be wiped away after five years as long as the offender stays clean.

Jorge Cruz, a former addict who is now a drug counselor in Bridgeport, says that period of time can be difficult for a former addict to find work and stay clean.

"All they want is a chance," he says. "Many brothers and sisters are coming out of prison. All they want is a chance."

The chances of the bill making it to the governor's desk could be tough, as both the House and Senate have to vote on the bill.