Thursday, November 6, 2014

Passage of Prop 47: California Steps Toward Ending Mass Incarceration and War on Drugs

chivis martinez borderland beat press release  from Drug Policy Org 

California becomes first in the nation to "de-felonize" personal drug use 

    Today, California voters took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the war on drugs by approving Proposition 47.             

    On the heels of reforming the state’s “three strikes” law in the 2012 election, Californians overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses – including simple drug possession – from felonies to misdemeanors.

    “The overwhelming support for this reform sends a powerful message nationally, demonstrating that voters are not just ready but eager to reduce prison populations in ways that can enhance public safety,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

    Prop. 47 has the potential to drastically reduce the number of people in state prisons and county jails – who don’t need to be there for reasons of either justice or safety – by making 20,000 current people eligible for resentencing and reducing new admissions by 40,000 to 60,000 every year. 

    Between 500,000 and one million Californians will be eligible for automatic felony ex-pungement, thereby removing debilitating barriers to employment, housing, education and public assistance. Prop. 47 will then dedicate the savings – likely more than $1 billion over five years – to schools, victim services, and mental health and drug addiction treatment.

    With its retroactive sentencing and ex-pungement provisions, the impact of Prop 47 in California on wasteful corrections spending and individual lives will be profound and surely resonate across the country.


    With less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its incarcerated population, the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world – largely due to the war on drugs. Misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing requirements have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color. Although rates of drug use and selling are similar across racial and ethnic lines, black and Latino people are far more likely to be criminalized for drug law violations than white people.

    Statewide, Prop. 47 w\, according to a brief by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Statewide, jails will see freed capacity of 10,000 to 30,000 jail beds. Using three counties as examples, the brief estimated that Los Angeles County will save $100 million to $175 million, San Diego County will save between $28.4 million and $49.7 million, and San Joaquin County between $6.8 million and $12.0 million annually with the implementation of Prop. 47. 

    Most of these savings will accrue from freed jail capacity, with between 2,500 and 7,500 jail beds freed in Los Angeles County, 700 to 2,100 beds freed in San Diego County, and 170 to 500 beds freed in San Joaquin County.

    Although Prop 47 does not specifically address marijuana, people with felony records for marijuana possession (which is possible because possession of marijuana concentrates can be charged as a felony under current law) would be eligible to be re-sentenced and can also file a petition to expunge or clear their records.

    DPA’s lobbying arm, Drug Policy Action, supported this initiative with assistance on its drafting, as well as financial and other support for the campaign.

    “We’ve been trying to get simple drug possession reclassified as a misdemeanor through Sacramento for years, facing first an unwillingness by the Legislature and then last year’s veto by Governor Brown,” said Lynne Lyman, California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “With Prop. 47, California voters took the issue of smart justice into their own hands. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”
     

    25 comments:

    1. The question is, will California tax payers see any reduced taxes or other breaks since the state/counties will see significant savings? Probably not! The money will just be spent elsewhere. this is the war, on the war on drugs and it is unfortunate. What will they say next, "An eight ball of coke isn't all that bad", or "people should be allowed to shoot up once a day"? It is the slow and steady degradation of our society all so political figures can gain the young vote and line their pockets. We are on a path to see the same issues Mexico has with high levels of corruption, rampant drug issues, and shady police.

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      1. More than likely no tax break, but hopefully better use of these funds to build schools and improve education amongst our youth.

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      2. You cant enforce morals....if people are going to do drugs they will do them....the current policies dont do anthying effective in stopping the use or sale of drugs...

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      3. An 8 ball ISNt that bad. Ha

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      4. did u even read the story . read the story this time before u comment

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    2. If you thought we have a lot of useless idiots running around wait till the drug induced useless druggies spend there time begging for money on the street corners to get some governmental THC. I see younger kids giving up on school and becoming hippies in Colorado. More link card carriers

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      1. Grow up and stop sitting in front of the Blaze drinking the Kool-Aid. How has the drug war worked out dumbass? Draining revenue, crowding jails, ruining lives. What you say is what prohibitionists said about alcohol. Idiot.

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      2. @ 6:57. Weed use has been rampant in schools and college for decades. I grew up around weed, cocaine and the ROCK epidemic here in L.A. I did not take my first toke of weed until i was 20 my first alcohol drink until 21. Just because it's available does not mean folks are going to flock to it. Everyone has a choice to either do or don't.

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      3. You say "grow up" and then resort to the infantile reaction of name-calling? SMH

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      4. I would not say he is an idiot. I would say he is 100% correct. Prohibition did not work, but alcohol kills millions of people per year. So alcohol has caused a lot of grief. His opinion has to be right, because those things he is talking about are happening now. When you legalize it more people will use it that were not using it before when it was illegal. I have seen some people do some stupid things because they were high on pot. It will just add to the problem all alcoholics that do stupid things.He did not say he was for or against legalization. He just said what the effects will be. How can you disagree with that?

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      5. Here comes the system crashing down because all the kids wanna become hippies there not gonna really care about school you don't care about anything when your high eexcept getting more dank.

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      6. 6:57 AM, 12:00 PM and 12:40 Are correct. Everything is a mess with em drugs lets see alcohol is legal right? for some alcohol is good at moderate amounts but when some one cross the line of moderation it can easily get out of control, the same thing must be with the rest of the drugs. It's about self control, the huge problem is some drugs tend to block the self control ability when the drug starts messing with the mind.

        And also the harder the drug the more dependant some one can become to stay "functioning" that's how some become dopey addicts. Heroin? Meth? Amphetamines? Coke? Crack? any one? any one??... lol

        By the way most of those hard drugs can turn any btch into a psychopath. Like if we didn't have enough evil motha f'rs allready... something medical ganja doesn't do never heard of it.

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      7. They gotta monitor that proposition-47 see where it goes. if it works or not

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    3. "black and Latino people are far more likely to be criminalized for drug law violations than white people".
      It should be "than non-latin or non-hispanic people.
      Hispanics are white.

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    4. Ok just change the sentencing instead of five years in jail give them five cannings/slashings just like in singapore..... that will work for me...... Keep the jails less crowded... O and how far back will they go with this...... If i have a friend in prison can i now take him or her a dime bag of weed for their personal use.... Can i ........ Personal use you know..... What a joke... O well .....

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    5. I know a lot of people that do drugs. They are all tax payers middle class citizens. People who work hard but like to take the edge off on the week end. Even hoover had drank whisky during prohibition. These people aren't crack heads that ask for money

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    6. Here in California the war on drugs and mainly weed is a profitable business. There isn't a single day and even on weekends when the CHP or LA county sheriff's doesn't have a vehicle pulled over on interstate 5 conducting a full search for either weed coming from up north or money heading from the south to north. I see this every day on my way to work in Bakersfield or on my way home to Oxnard. Sometimes the bales are stacked high and all.of these wasted resources for it to be legalized soon by the voters!

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    7. California is one of the dopest if not the dopest one on the US but that state still looks good compare to other states. Could it be because of the tons of money the hollywood and tech industries in silicon valley creates each year? oh and don't forget the farms they help alot too. Now lets imagine BIG FAMOUS CALIFORNIA without ONE or TWO of those big industries, California wouldn't be the same it would be like the big Louisiana of the NW perhaps.

      So state regulating propositions are very important in every state, if they are done the right way it can help make an state better. But if it's done the wronfully way it can help destroy a state in sec.

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      1. Auto correct. I meant SW... was in something else lol

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      2. And why is California broke?

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      3. California can't be broke. Detroit is broke

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    8. All the legal grifa can't compete on price with illegal grifa, nothing will change, except with legal, more recruiting of smokers at younger age...
      --the most evil thing about drugs, like about obamacare, private military contractors, or the privatization of military functions, is the expectation of monetay rewards, it is all about money money money, all of it!!!

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    9. But illegal bush and legal hemp are not the same not even close. And what are the parents for!?

      Now on the second part some how you have point. But you gotta remember a democratic nation needs "monetary rewards" Unless you live in a communist nation where they can force anybody to work for "free" if necessary.

      Are you willing to do your job for free knowing you need "money" to survive? get it right crazy man.

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    10. My ex husband is getting out of a federal prison, in south carolina. he was convicted of drug charges and got a 20 year sentence. Now, he tells me that the "law" has been changed, that he will be getting out November 2015.I read something a while back, about african american men getting more time, than white men dealing powder cocaine. Im not sure if this is anything about that, i don't even care one way or another. I do however feel as though too many people are in prison and jails, for crimes that are not that bad in the first place. The weed, i think will become legal everywhere, eventually. We shouldn't be sending folks to prison and jail for a joint.

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    11. Monetary rewards are ok, for a service, for your labors, or smarts, not for being a greedy manipulator or 90% of the money going to some middleman andthe rest goes to finance prostitution of our government officers, i have nothing against capitalism or individual achievement, but greedy oligarchs and the prostitutes they own are something else, like who needs 500 trillion dollar fortune and still needs to invent and create wars AND finance them to create profits and earnings??? The rothschilds? Rockefellers??

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