The public policy question before us is, who benefits from perpetuating a chronic underclass of citizens here in California? The answer is clearly nobody.
Newport Beach, CA (PRWEB) March 12, 2013
According to KABC, heroin, cocaine, and other hard drugs may soon result in significantly less jail time. If someone is using these drugs for personal use only, what could have previously resulted in a felony conviction of up to 3 years in prison could soon be a one year misdemeanor offense.
The state currently considers possession of hard drugs to be a felony offense, says ABC, but support for handing out felony convictions to drug addicts is no longer as popular as it once was. Senator Mark Leno has been very vocal about his desire to decrease the harsh penalties imposed on hard drug users.
“The public policy question before us is, who benefits from perpetuating a chronic underclass of citizens here in California? The answer is clearly nobody,” said Leno.
If California were to adopt this policy change, there may be a very profitable financial incentive. ABC estimates that $160 million in parole, court, and incarceration costs could be avoided by allowing these offenders to receive misdemeanors rather than felonies. There are currently thirteen states and the federal government that treat drug possession cases as misdemeanors.
Although a number of states report success when utilizing rehab services, the success rates are not widely accepted nor are they consistent across the board. The American Civil Liberties Union believes that felony convictions are too harsh of a punishment since many of those convicted have difficulty recovering.
“That means that they’re unable to find employment. When we don’t provide folks with every opportunity to become productive members of society, it’s not surprising that many folks turn back to drugs,” said ACLU’s Kim Horiuchi.
Randy Collins, Drug Attorney, has assisted a number of alleged drug crime offenders and believes that alternative sentencing, under most circumstances, is a very beneficial alternative. “Our experience is that the majority of drug crime offenders are acting out of desperation to fulfill their addictions. Sending them to jail and taking away their ability to provide for themselves is a response that rarely works.
“Many of these people need an environment that will assist them to kick their habits. Locking them in a cell and exposing them to violent criminals is a response that has never shown any evidence of fixing the country’s drug problem,” said Attorney Collins.
About MacGregor & Collins, LLP
MacGregor & Collins, LLP is a criminal law firm based in Southern California. Their attorneys assist those who have been charged with possession of drugs, intent to sell, DUI , DWI, and more. They offer all first-time callers free professional case evaluations with experienced attorneys.
For more information about their firm, call 949-250-6097 or visit their website at http://www.cmcdefense.com.