California Legislature Stepping Away From Drug War

If you get busted using methamphetamine, the D.A. can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. His choice. But if you’re caught with cocaine or heroin, there’s no option. It’s a felony.

If there’s logic in that, it escapes me. They’re all addictive and destructive to mind and body.

Get high on one hard drug and you might receive a get-out-of-jail-free card. But another earns you a lifetime bad-guy tag.

The Legislature, as it rushes toward adjournment of its annual session Friday, is moving to correct that puzzling contradiction.

It is retreating a bit from the decades-long war on drugs.

“The war on drugs is a colossal failure,” says Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks).

Yes, that Tim Donnelly, arguably California’s most conservative state lawmaker, a self-proclaimed tea party Republican and one-time Minuteman vigilante who patrolled the border searching for Mexicans entering the U.S. illegally.

Donnelly last week cast a crucial vote that secured Assembly passage of a drug-sentencing bill by liberal Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The measure now awaits Senate approval of Assembly amendments, then will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown. No telling his view.

The bill, SB 649, would provide prosecutors the flexibility to treat all low-level drug possession offenses as either a misdemeanor or a felony — what’s known as a “wobbler.”

– Read the entire article at The Los Angeles Times.