SB 649: Demilitarizing the Drug War
By Chris Norby, Fullerton / 714-990-2064 / email@example.com
California’s SB 649 removes mandatory felony charges for those caught with possession of illegal drugs. It grants locally-elected district attorneys discretion in charging non-violent drug users. A felony charge could still be an option, but so could a misdemeanor or civil fine.
Mandatory minimum sentences have long hogtied judicial discretion and condemned non-violent citizens to years behind bars. They have had a vastly disproportionate impact on poor and minorities, ensnaring 25% of young black men into the criminal justice system, mostly for non-violent offences. Even those who’ve kicked the drug habit and reformed their lives remain lifelong felons unable to find gainful employment to support their families. Continue reading