CA To End Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Nonviolent Drug Offenses

California Governor Gavin Newsom is on a roll with the changes he’s making in the state. Just when it seems like he can’t top his latest accomplishments, he keeps raising the bar. Yesterday it was announced that he signed off on a bill that will immediately affect nonviolent drug crimes in the Golden State.

Bill SB-73 was spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco to help those impacted by the war on drugs that disproportionately incarcerated people who are Black or Latino. Governor Newsom signed off on Bill SB-73, which will give judges more discretion to impose alternative sentences. According to The Hill, judges will be allowed to sentence individuals to probation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenses. This includes but isn’t limited to small drug possessions.

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California’s current state law requires an individual to spend several years in jail or prison for numerous drug crimes. In addition, people who have a past conviction for a drug felony, such as possession or sale of controlled substances, are currently ineligible for probation.

In a statement, Governor Newsom said, “Our prisons and jails are filled with people — particularly from communities of color. Who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options. Like probation, rehabilitation, and treatment.” He continued by saying, It’s an important measure that will help end California’s system of mass incarceration.

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While some may feel like this is a move in the right direction, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen aren’t thrilled about the change. According to KTLA, the association says the penalties work as a deterrent or a reason for individuals to get the treatment they need to turn their lives around. The bill is set to take effect in January. Roomies, drop a comment below and share your thoughts!

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