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!

Los Angeles Citizens Vote to Regulate Medical Marijuana

State oversight would help clarify new regulations

LOS ANGELES, CA – Yesterday, the citizens of Los Angeles voted to regulate medical marijuana by voting to pass Proposition D, one of three medical marijuana regulation measures on the ballot. The Proposition received 62.57% of the vote. Proposition D caps the number of collectives at those who opened prior to 2007, about 130, raises the gross receipts tax from $50 to $60 per $1000 of gross receipts, and establishes the distances they must keep from schools, parks, one another and residential neighborhoods.

Contact: Amanda Reiman 510-847-2405 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

Legislación SB 649 del Senador Mark Leno, Aprobado por el Senado con más del 50% del Voto

Legislación reducirá la pena por la posesión de pequeñas cantidades de drogas. Ahora el proyecto de ley va a la Asamblea del estado.

SACRAMENTO, CA - Hoy, el Senado de California aprobó la Legislación SB649, que dará discreción judicial a la fiscalía local para la convicción de posesión de pequeñas cantidades de drogas ilegales para uso personal de un delito grave a un delito menor.  Patrocinado por el senador Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), SB 649 ayudaría a reducir la población de carcel en California y potencialmente proporcionar ahorros a los tribunales ya que delitos graves requieren el establecimiento costoso de una audiencia preliminar, mientr

Contacto: Lynne Lyman 213-210-1023 or Armando Gudiño 562-413-9003

California Supreme Court Upholds Local Medical Marijuana Bans

Statement from Drug Policy Alliance:  "The Only Way to Protect Patients is for California to Adopt State Wide Medical Marijuana Regulation"

Today, the California Supreme Court held that localities may entirely ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within their jurisdictions in a closely watched case, City of Riverside vs. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center.   The result of the Court’s ruling is that tens of thousands of legitimate medical marijuana patients in California will be without safe and legal access to medical marijuana.  To date more than 200 localities have banned dispensaries outright.

Contact: Amanda Reiman: 510-730-2811 or Tamar Todd: 510-229-5213

Sen. Mark Leno’s Bill, SB 649, to Reduce the Penalty for Simple Drug Possession Clears the Senate Floor with a 23-14 Vote

Proposed Bill Would Help Curb Prison and Jail Overcrowding in California; Heads to the Assembly Next

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, the California Senate approved SB649, which will give prosecutorial and judicial discretion to charge possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use as a felony or a misdemeanor as the case warrants, by a 23-14 margin. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would help reduce prison and jail overcrowding in California and potentially even provide savings to the financially-strapped courts because felony charges require setting a preliminary hearing, whereas misdemeanor offenses do not.

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

Obama Administration Releases National Drug Control Strategy; California Advocates and Legislators Applaud the Emphasis on Preventing Fatal Overdose

California Bill to Implement Statewide Overdose Prevention Strategy Faces Budget Hurdle

SACRAMENTO—The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the National Drug Control Strategy, which included strong support for overdose prevention programs and expanded access to the overdose reversal medicine naloxone.

CONTACT: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224

Sen. Mark Leno's Bill, SB 649, to Reduce the Penalty for Simple Drug Possession Clears Public Safety Committee

Proposed Bill Would Help Curb Prison and Jail Overcrowding in California; Heads to a Full Floor Vote in May

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved SB649, which will give prosecutorial and judicial discretion to charge possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use as a felony or a misdemeanor as the case warrants, by a 4-2 margin. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would help reduce prison and jail overcrowding in California.

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

CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Calls on California to Lead the Nation in Ending Marijuana Prohibition and Failed Drug War

Newsom Makes Bold Statement in Huffington Post Piece

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in a piece on the Huffington Post, has called on his state to lead the nation in ending marijuana prohibition and the failed drug war, as it led in adopting the nation’s first medical marijuana law in 1996.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

New Overdose Prevention Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support in California Assembly Health Committee

Public Health Advocates and Families Urge California Assembly Appropriations Committee to Pass New Overdose Prevention Bill

SACRAMENTO—In a showing of bipartisan support yesterday, the Assembly Health Committee voted in favor of Asm. Richard Bloom’s (D-Santa Monica) AB 831, a bill that would require a temporary state task force of experts to develop a comprehensive plan to address the state’s overdose crisis, as well as establish a modest funding source for groups working to reduce overdose deaths. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before a floor vote of the full Assembly later this session.

CONTACT: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224 or Tommy McDonald 510-338-8827

California Must Resolve Racial Disparities in State Sentencing

April 3, 2013

This clip shows Republican congressional members from California along with other national leaders speaking out against the unjust racial disparities in sentencing between powder and crack cocaine during passage of the federal “Fair Sentencing Act of 2010” that narrowed the federal disparity in sentencing from 100:1 to 18:1.

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