Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., Signed legislation ending a minimum prison sentence for nonviolent drug offenses.
The Bill, SB73, takes effect in January 2022 and allows judges to sentence offenders to trial rather than jail time. Under current law, the trial is off the table for anyone who sells or sells more than 14 grams of heroin or PCP.
The bill was first passed by the state sen. Sponsored by Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, he praised the governor’s act.
“The racist, failed war on drugs has helped build our collective bondage system, and we must dismantle and end its traces, which are still in effect today,” Weiner said San Francisco Chronicle. “War policies on drugs are ineffective, inhumane and expensive.”
Weiner tweeted about the new law, “The mass detention of nonviolent drug offenders has not reduced drug use or addiction.
“Our prisons and prisons are filled with people — particularly those of color communities — who serve low-level, nonviolent drug offenses, and who are best served by non-corporal options such as probation, rehabilitation and treatment,” said Wiener Associated Press. “This is an important measure to help end mass incarceration in California.”
According to the AP, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen condemned the new law, saying the existing penalties “act as a barrier or a reason for individuals to get the treatment they need to turn their lives around.” The law enforcement group predicts the law will worsen drug crimes.
Weiner’s obedience “sets a dangerous precedent … and threatens the health and safety of the communities we have vowed to protect,” the California Police Chiefs Association warned.
Weiner sponsored other controversial legislation in the state Senate, a Law To allow “safe injection sites” for drug addicts.
In 2020, Wiener made headlines for introducing the A Bill A judge allowed discretion to prevent young adults from engaging in homosexuality with a minor as a sex offender, Newsom signed.