New polling released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California has found that Proposition 47, an initiative to defelonize certain nonviolent crimes including personal drug possession, is currently favored by 62% of voters in the state, with just 25% opposed. The proposal will be voted on this November.
Proposition 47, titled the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, would remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the sentence to a misdemeanor (unless the person has a history of violent crimes). It would also defelonize other nonviolent offenses including petty theft and check fraud.
The initiative was put forth by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne. If approved, it’s expected to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually, with the funding going to the state’s Department of Education, to trauma recovery services for victims of crimes, and to mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.