California Becomes the First State to Defelonize Drug Use

November 7, 2014

November 5, 2014
by Johnny Magdaleno

Introduction by Terence T. Gorski
An army of concerned citizens, including myself, has advocated against excessive prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders and reinvesting the money spent on incarceration to community-based addiction treatment and solid approaches for developing sober communities.

California, previously a leader in incarcerating nonviolent drug addicts, has reversed direction in the passage of proposition 47. Hopefully, as a result of the recent election, a trend in changing from a War on Drugs Policy to a Public Health Addiction Policy that includes a strong emphasis on developing sober communities based upon the attraction to re benefits of recovery rather than the fear of punishment.

I believe that this type of legislation that is based upon the principles of decriminalization and reclassification of nonviolent drug possession and personal use can be a good thing.
The folloI believe that the fact. Here’s why:

1. Sentences for nonviolent drug offenders are draconian and have introduced racial bias due to how how and where drug laws are enforced.

2. The War on Drugs Policy has been an expensive failure in terms of managing the national epidemic of drug addiction.

3. Provisions in the legislation will redirect the funding saved by reducing the prison population to community reentry programs, expansion of community-based treatment resources, and the building sober communities based upon the attraction of living among sober and responsible rather than the threat of incarceration.

4. Many children now orphaned because of parental incarceration can be reunited with their families instead of being warehouses in child welfare systems.
This can be a tremendous contribution to a better future if the process of family unification is supported by effective family therapy, drug prevention and treatment, and special services for adolescents.

5. Police and court resources can be redirected to their true mission, stopping violent crime and protecting our communities from violent criminals.

More detailed information is available:

This defelonization of drug use alone is only one part of the managing the problem. Addiction professionals, including Social Workers, Psychologist’s, and Counsels will need to stand up with other community leaders to develop policies and programs that support and encourage sobriety and responsibility, strongly discourage alcohol and drug abuse, and make concerted efforts to de-glamorize drinking and drug use. A planned program for holding up as heroes and role models the sober and responsible people who make positive contributions to their communities.
xplores this topic in depth
Gorski Books On Criminal Justice and Addiction

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