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CALIFORNIA BALLOT INITIATIVE COLLECTING SIGNATURES TO MAKE CRIME ILLEGAL AGAIN

Ballotpedia reports:

The California Increase Drug and Theft Penalties and Reduce Homelessness Initiative (#23-0017) may appear on the ballot in California as an initiated state statute on November 5, 2024.

The initiatives would increase drug crime and theft penalties and allow a new class of crime to be called treatment-mandated felony, which gives the offender the option to participate in drug and mental health treatment.[1][2]

The summary provided for inclusion on signature petition sheets is as follows:

  • Allows felony charges for possessing certain drugs, including fentanyl, and for thefts under $950—both currently chargeable only as misdemeanors—with two prior drug or two prior theft convictions, as applicable. Defendants who plead guilty to felony drug possession and complete treatment can have charges dismissed.

  • Increases sentences for other specified drug and theft crimes.

  • Increased prison sentences may reduce savings that currently fund mental health and drug treatment programs, K-12 schools, and crime victims; any remaining savings may be used for new felony treatment program.[4]

More than 250,000 signatures have been collected in less than 30 days; 546,651 signatures by the end of April are needed to qualify for the ballot.


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