Proposition 47, the ballot measure to defelonize minor drug possession and other low-level nonviolent crimes passed easily tonight, with the San Francisco Chronicle calling the race within an hour of the polls closing, despite dismal voter turnout in the state. The initiative will treat certain crimes as simple misdemeanors, reducing the future prison population and authorizing resentencing for those currently incarcerated for these offenses if they prove they are no longer a threat to public safety.
The exemption is a limited one, and will not apply to registered sex offenders or anyone with prior convictions for child molestation, rape or murder. Savings are projected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and will be redirected to K-12 programs, victim services and mental health and drug treatment.
“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of cops, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.