Drug possession has been downgraded to a misdemeanor following the approval of Proposition 47 in California.
Proposition 47 and Drug Possession
Under the now passed Proposition 47, nonviolent felonies such as drug possession and shoplifting will be classified as misdemeanors. Additionally, as many as 10,000 prisoners could now be eligible for early release from state prison. It’s also expected that courts will have 40,000 fewer felony convictions per year. Money saved (and it could be in the hundreds of millions) will be redirected to education, mental health and addiction services. This new measure will hopefully help the prison system and overcrowding.
Supporters of Prop 47
Support has been high for the measure – leading every poll conducted since its certification in June. Meanwhile, enforcement officials opposed the measure, fearing it would make it harder to prosecute felony gun theft as well as the possession of date-rape drugs.
Drop in Crime
The measure, as well as the support, and now approval seems to be the result of the overall drop in crime that the nation has seen over the years. “The country seems to have come to a different place […] I think, most fundamentally, because crime is down,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug addiction expert who came out in support of the measure. “When people are not feeling terrified, they’re more willing to back off on the tough-on-crime stuff.”
Source: The Huffington Post, California Voters Deal Blow To Prisons, Drug War, November 5, 2014
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