Saturday, November 22, 2014

Proposition 47

Recently Prop 47 was passed in California. Let me start by saying I am not political at all. I vote, but only on the measures, propositions, and bills and people I truly understand and have an opinion on. (If that is even possible....I only have the information presented to the public.) You can read more about prop 47 here. It is a proposition written to drop non-violent offenses, drug crimes, theft crimes, to misdemeanors. The money saved from housing all of these non-violent offenders will go into the newly created "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools" fund.

I have mixed feelings on this. First, OF COURSE, if my girl were to be arrested for a drug related offense, I would love for her to not be a felon! I would love for a lot of kids I know here and in real life, to not be in danger of becoming a felon. Having a felony on your record shuts doors like nothing else.

On the other hand, I feel like, isn't the state of CA. almost enabling drug addicts to continue in their use by making the punishment for carrying, using, and selling, a slap on the wrist? The bottom line is its all about money. Drug addiction/abuse is a raging firestorm of an epidemic and our jails can't afford to keep housing these people. So rather then lets try to find a solution for the root, lets just pretend its not a big deal.

We as a society tend to normalize behavior that we don't understand or can't control. How many of us, BEFORE our children's addiction had strong opinions on addiction and drug related crimes and drug addicts themselves? As our children got going though, how many of us said, "Well its just pot or beer." "Wellll they are just struggling, trying to figure out who they are." "Wellll the teachers don't know how to teach...thats why he/she is failing everything." As we got in deeper and deeper with our kids issues, we let more and more of our standards go *to make it bearable, manageable, comprehendable* for ourselves.

I feel like that is what the state of Ca. is doing. They can't control it, they can't afford to really fight it, so lets say its not that big of a deal and we will book and release now and give the money saved to an organization that will help promote safe neighborhoods and schools. But HOW will they do that if the drug epidemic isn't being dealt with? In some real and humane way?

As usual lots of questions with no good answers. Its such a sad state of affairs.


Anonymous said...

Hi there - I think people are going to use drugs/alcohol regardless of what the laws are. The Prohibition era proved that, and the War on Drugs continues to prove it.

I believe that people own themselves, and so each of us has the legal, if not moral, right to decide what we want to do to our bodies, even if it is harmful, or if other people disagree.

Obesity actually is more prevalent than drug use, and causes myriad health problems. It also in many cases comes from the same 'hole in the soul' as drug use. Should we criminalize junk food?

While there is definitely a moral reason not to use/abuse drugs or alcohol, I'm not so sure it's the government's job to legislate morality.

Anonymous said...

Like you, Annette, I can see all sides to the proposition on the ballot. If the misdemeanor does not hurt anyone other than the offender, then I can see the sentence being more lenient. However, if substance use /drinking does hurt someone else or has the potential to, then it needs to be taken more seriously. I don't like that the proposition lowers penalties for access to guns as well as possession of date rape drugs. Where are we going as a society? We need safeguards in place. Holly