Utah Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission Endorses Defelonizing Drug Possession

Utah’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission has utahunveiled a package of recommendations to control prison growth, including a proposal to make the personal possession of illegal substances a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

According to the report, Utah’s prison population is projected to grow by 37% over the next two 20 years, at a cost of over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money. Among the recommendations the Commission makes in order to deal with this growth, is to defelonize the first-time personal possession of drugs.

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California Initiative to Defelonize Drug Possession Approved Handily by Voters

California voters have handily47 approved Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, passing it with 57% of the vote. The initiative will remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the offense to a misdemeanor.

The initiative, which won’t apply to those with a history of violent crimes, will also defelonize other nonviolent offenses such as petty theft and check fraud. The proposal was put forth by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne.

Read moreCalifornia Initiative to Defelonize Drug Possession Approved Handily by Voters

Netflix CEO and Founder Donates Over $245,000 to Defelonize Drug Possession in California

Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO of Netflix, has donated nearly a quarter netflixof a million dollars to Proposition 47, an initiative being voted on next month in California which would defelonize personal drug possession, in addition to other non-violent crimes such as petty theft.

The contribution (which was $246,664.20 to be exact) is the second highest from an individual donor; only Molly Munger has given more at over $325,447.82. The largest overall contribution comes from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has donated over $3 million. This is according to the most recent campaign finance filings.

Read moreNetflix CEO and Founder Donates Over $245,000 to Defelonize Drug Possession in California

Initiative to Defelonize Drug Possession in California Leading 62% to 25% in Newest Poll

New polling released Tuesday by the47 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.

Read moreInitiative to Defelonize Drug Possession in California Leading 62% to 25% in Newest Poll

Chicago Mayor Proposes Decriminalizing Cannabis, Defelonizing Drug Possession in Illinois

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on lawmakers Tuesday to reform the state’s drug policies, including decriminalizing cannabis possession.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Mayor Emanuel today called on the Illinois State Legislature to reform sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses, keeping non-violent offenders from a lifetime in the criminal justice system, saving taxpayer dollars, and allowing police to focus on more serious crimes”, the Mayor’s office said in a press release. “The Mayor’s proposal calls for a new state law that would reduce possession of one gram or less of any controlled substance in Illinois from a Class Four Felony to a Class A Misdemeanor. The proposal would also expand Chicago’s municipal ordinance, passed in 2012, making possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis a ticketable offense statewide”

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Initiative to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession in California Qualifies for November Ballot

The California Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act has officially qualified for the general election ballot, and will be put to a votecaliforniareform this November as Proposition 47. The measure, in addition to other criminal justice changes, would remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the sentence to a misdemeanor. The proposal would also defelonize other nonviolent crimes such as petty theft and check fraud.

The initiative, backed by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne, wouldn’t apply to charges involving the manufacturing or distribution of illegal substances, and for charges placed on someone with a past violent conviction. All other drug possession charges would be defelonized.

Read moreInitiative to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession in California Qualifies for November Ballot

Activists and Lawmakers March Forth With WA Bill to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession

A proposal to remove felony charges for the personal possession of any controlled substance will be prefiled in the House of Representatives this Decembersensiblewashington in Washington State, and will have at least a dozen sponsors according to Sensible Washington, the organization behind the measure.

Under current Washington State law, the possession of any controlled substance, regardless of the amount, is a felony charge which carries with it a potential 5 year prison sentence. The sole exception is cannabis, with up to 28 grams being legal, and between 28 and 40 grams being a misdemeanor. However, if someone possesses 41 or more grams of cannabis, even post-I-502, they’re committing a felony.

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Washington Proposal to Defelonize Drug Possession Receives Public Hearing Date

A proposal to defelonize the personal possession of illegal substances in Washington State has officially received a hearing date in its first assigned committee, theswlogo House Public Safety Committee. The hearing will take place next Tuesday, January 14th.

Under the proposed law – House Bill 2116 – the possession of an illegal substance, when there’s no intent to distribute the substance, will be reduced from a felony charge with a potential 5 year prison sentence, to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 90 days.

Read moreWashington Proposal to Defelonize Drug Possession Receives Public Hearing Date

WA Proposal to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession to be Filed in Upcoming Legislative Session

A recently-announced proposal in Washington State to defelonize simple drug possession has garnered a primary legislative sponsor, State Representative Sherry Appleton, and will be formally filed in the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.swlogo In addition to Representative Appleton, Representatives Joe Fitzgibbon, Jim Moeller (Speaker Pro Tempore) and Chris Reykdal have all signed on as cosponsors, with “more to be announced soon”, according to the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington, the group behind the effort.

Read moreWA Proposal to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession to be Filed in Upcoming Legislative Session