3 Ways Proposition 47 Affects California Drug Culture

Apr 15, 19 3 Ways Proposition 47 Affects California Drug Culture

Although minorities are not the only ones affected by the war on drugs, they are most certainly disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for drug offenses. In response to this well-documented fact, the state of California enacted legislation in 2014 via a ballot initiative originally known as The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act that was approved by voters and enacted into law by the governor. Proposition 47 has changed the rules for every drug crime lawyer in Santa Clarita, CA for three important reasons.

Simple Possession Is No Longer a Felony

Thanks to Proposition 47, simple possession of hard drugs is no longer a life-ruining felony. What that means in practice is that a person found with a small amount of cocaine, heroin, meth or other “hard” drug that is not packaged for resale can be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The differences between a felony and a misdemeanor are numerous, but one significant detail is that a person charged with simple possession can now be cited and released at the scene instead of automatically being arrested and booked into jail before appearing in court.

Police and Drug Dealers Are Both Safer

The two main sides at the front line of the drug war are dealers and cops. The tension between drug-sellers and the law enforcement officers that pursue them is extremely high and has resulted in countless homicides. Thanks to Proposition 47, this tension has been significantly reduced. Drug dealers shoot cops because they don’t want to go to prison. Operating under the basic threat of a misdemeanor as opposed to an automatic felony makes them less likely to do that.

Lawyers Have More Power to Help Clients

Although in the past many people were given felony probation for simple possession, receiving an initial misdemeanor charge for the same offense is so much better for the client. Before Proposition 47, attorneys were fortunate to have felony possession charges merely reduced to misdemeanor convictions. Because these initial felony charges are now misdemeanors at the beginning, attorneys have far more power to help their clients get free of them with far less damage to their permanent records. If you or someone you know is need of a drug crime lawyer in Santa Clarita, CA contact us today.

History will remember Proposition 47 as the beginning of a monumental shift in American drug policy. It deserves to be.

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