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California Votes to Cuts Penalties for Lesser Drug Crimes

November 6, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
California Votes to Cuts Penalties for Lesser Drug Crimes Image courtesy of abcnews.go.com

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California voters have passed Proposition 47, a law that will reduce simple drug possession and some property crimes to misdemeanors, with 59 percent of the vote, according to statewide ballot returns.

In San Diego County, voters supported it by 55 percent.

That means, effectively immediately, California joins about a dozen other states across the country with misdemeanor drug possession laws.

The returns are in line with earlier polling results that showed support at 59 percent last month and 62 percent in September.

The proposition, called The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, calls for the estimated $200 million saved in prison costs each year to fund programs that rehabilitate drug addicts, treat mental health needs, keep kids in school and support crime victims.

“By passing Proposition 47, California voters show that they understand that the policies of the past have failed and that we cannot incarcerate our way to safety,” Lenore Anderson, chair of the initiative ballot committee, said in a statement. “Californians do not want to waste any more costly prison space on non-violent, non-serious offenses.”

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