California

Tuesday November 4th is Election Day, and there are some VERY important drug policy reform issues to vote for…or against in California.

Most importantly, vote YES on Proposition 47 to end felony sentencing for people charged with simple drug possession in California. This is our opportunity to end felonies for simple drug possession and other petty crimes in California and every vote is needed to achieve victory. From polling, we know that a huge majority of Californians support this reform, so it all comes down to whether we turn out to vote. 

We are also urging you to vote NO on Proposition 46, the “Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors, Medical Negligence Lawsuits Initiative Statute.” Of greatest concern is that Prop 46 requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test results to the California Medical Board. Additionally it requires the California Medical Board to suspend any doctor that tests positive, pending investigation of the positive test result, and to take disciplinary action if the doctor was impaired while on duty and requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of alcohol or other drug impairment or medical negligence. Learn more about why DPA says NO on Proposition 46.

Depending on where you live in California, you have the opportunity to vote for one of our drug policy champions in the U.S. Congress, such as Reps Barbara Lee, Dana Rohrabacher, Sam Farr, or Tony Cardenas. For details see the Drug Policy Action 2014 Drug Policy Reform Congressional Voter Guide, which grades members of Congress on how they voted on seven key drug policy reform votes in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 and 2014.

What you Need to Know to Vote:

If you have a vote-by-mail ballot, it has to be RECEIVED by your county elections office by 8:00pm on election night, November 4. So if you plan to mail in your ballot, be sure to mail it by Friday October 31 to ensure it is received by the deadline. You can also drop off your vote-by-mail ballot in-person at your county elections office or any polling place in your county before 8:00 pm on Election Day. If you do not have a vote-by-mail ballot, vote in-person at your polling place on November 4 from 7:00am - 8:00pm. Find your polling place here.

Now it’s time to cast your vote to end felony sentencing for simple drug possession, stop baseless drug testing, and support the courageous drug policy reform champions in Congress.

Please make sure your friends, your family, and everyone you know does the same! Share this page to help us spread the word and write or call your friends telling them why you support Proposition 47 and remind them to vote.

Together, we will win on Election Day!

California Fair Sentencing Act to Eliminate the Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing Passes out of the Senate Today With 21 Votes

Four District Attorneys join in support of this important bill about justice and fairness

SACRAMENTO, CA — After passing through both the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Senate Appropriations along party lines, the California Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010) authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), won approval on the Senate Floor vote in a 21-12 vote today.

Contact: Lynne Lyman (213) 210-1023 or Tommy McDonald (510) 229-5215

California Getting Closer to Making Overdose Antidote Naloxone Widely Available in Pharmacies

California Overdose Prevention Bill Clears the Assembly with Unanimous Support, Heads to the Senate
 
Overdose Prevention Advocates Cheer the Bipartisan Show of Support for Pharmacy Naloxone Bill
 
SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s overdose prevention bill (AB 1535) to expand access to naloxone in pharmacies cleared the Assembly floor vote with unanimous, bipartisan support. The bill now heads to the Senate. Advocates are applauding legislators coming together in agreement on the importance of expanding access to the lifesaving medicine that reverses the effects of opiate drugs, preventing fatal drug overdoses.
 

Contact:

Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224 
 
Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

California Fair Sentencing Act to Eliminate the Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing Passes its First Committee Today

Over One Hundred Local, State and National Organizations and Legal Experts Submit Letters of Support

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010) authored by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), passed its first hurdle in the Senate Committee on Public Safety by a 4-2 vote today. Senator Mitchell’s bill will correct the groundless disparity in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine that has resulted in a pattern of racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration in California. SB 1010 now moves on to the Appropriations Committee.

Contact: Lynne Lyman (213) 210-1023 or Tony Newman (646) 335-5384                                  

California Moves Toward Making Overdose Antidote Widely Available in Pharmacies

California Overdose Prevention Bill Wins Strong Bipartisan Support, Passing First Hearing Unanimously
 
Overdose Prevention Advocates Cheer the Bipartisan Show of Support for Pharmacy Naloxone Bill

SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s overdose prevention bill (AB 1535) to expand access to naloxone in pharmacies sailed through its first committee hearing with unanimous, bipartisan support. Advocates are applauding legislators coming together in agreement on the importance of expanding access to the lifesaving drug that reverses the effects of opiate drugs, preventing fatal drug overdoses. In recent years, overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in the state, killing more people than motor vehicle accidents.

Contact: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224

Riverside County School Districts Letter

March 17, 2014

To highlight the atrocities that have gone on in Riverside County high schools and hopefully prevent future ones, the Drug Policy Alliance sent this letter to 20 school district superintendents in Riverside County urging them not to allow undercover law enforcement operations on their campuses.  Such operations are ineffective at combating drug availability on campus and worse, they inflict irreparable harm on young people struggling with the challenges of adolescence or special needs.  The letter also informed schools about the potential legal liability for allowing such operatio

Sir Richard Branson, LT. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and SF DA George Gascon to Discuss More Humane Approach to the Failed War on Drugs

Event will feature special screening of  Film ‘Breaking the Taboo’

Film Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Features Interviews with Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter Former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Sweden, Victims of Drug War, Leading Experts and Advocates

Sundog Pictures announced it will be holding a special screening of its groundbreaking documentary “Breaking the Taboo,” about the failed war on drugs, in San Francisco. The screening will be held at 5.30pm on Tuesday, March 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street, San Francisco.

Contact: Laura Thomas 415-283-6366 or Nicolla Hewitt 917-770-3166

Senator Holly Mitchell Introduces Fair Sentencing Act to Eliminate Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing in California

A dozen civil rights groups line up as sponsors of this long overdue legislation, including Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU, NAACP, and NCLR

SACRAMENTO, CA —Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) introduced Senate Bill 1010 to equalize the penalties for crack cocaine to the current penalties for powder cocaine.  Senator Mitchell’s bill will correct the groundless disparity in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine that has resulted in a pattern of racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration in California.

Contact: Lynne Lyman (213) 210-1023 or Charles Stewart (213) 745-6656

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