We constantly focus on what a hideous place California is. But we wouldn’t be honest analysts if we didn’t give medieval hell its due. So, indulging in our libertarian tendencies when it comes to domestic policy, we applaud Governor Gavin Newsom and his recent move to end mandatory jail sentences for nonviolent offenders who run afoul of the never-ending and never-winning War on Drugs.

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Yes, it pains us to agree with Newsom and his ilk and we pray we don’t wake up with fleas. But in any government action results matter and the War on Drugs has always been a dismal failure. A prohibition that seeks to outlaw the laws of supply and demand is doomed to abject defeat. We found that out a century ago over booze and still government persisted in a similar attitude towards drugs.

We are not saying legalize or decriminalize everything. We are saying nonviolent offenders and recreational users of drugs like weed, hashish, and cocaine should not be subject to the wrath of the law. We’ve tried to throw the book at this problem and it hasn’t worked. Time to try something else.

FNC: “Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., signed legislation Tuesday ending mandatory minimum jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. The bill, SB73, goes into effect in January 2022 and allows judges to sentence offenders to probation instead of jail time. Under current law, probation is off the table for anyone selling or possessing for sale more than 14 grams of heroin or PCP. The bill was first sponsored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who lauded the governor for his action.” Weiner is odious. We have, just for editorial sake, removed the race hustling from his statements. You can thank us later, Scotty.

“The failed War on Drugs has helped build our system of mass incarceration, and we must dismantle and end its vestiges, which are still in place today,” Wiener said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “War on Drugs policies are ineffective, inhumane and expensive.” Wiener also tweeted, “Mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders hasn’t reduced drug use or addiction. Time for a new approach. Thx, Governor, for this overdue step.”

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“Our prisons and jails are filled with people who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options like probation, rehabilitation and treatment,” said Weiner, according to The Associated Press. “It’s an important measure that will help end California’s system of mass incarceration.”

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The California Association of Highway Patrolmen does not agree. They said the existing laws “work as a deterrent or a reason for individuals to get the treatment they need to turn their lives around,” according to the AP.  Another group feels the new law “sets a dangerous precedent … and would jeopardize the health and safety of the communities we are sworn to protect,” warned the California Police Chiefs Association. Nice spin. But no results to back it up.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on October 10, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Drew Berquist.