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Understanding Proposition 36

Amending California's Three Strikes Law

July 1, 2001, California enacted Proposition 36, allowing first and second time, simple, non-violent drug offenders to opportunity to seek treatment in drug rehabilitation rather than face incarceration. This proposition, once enacted, permanently changed California state law in regards to drug crimes. This proposition was passed by 61% of voters in California in November, 2000. Between its enactment and 2006, when Proposition 36 ran out of funding, approximately 150,000 chose rehabilitation over incarceration and were involved in the program.

The program proved beneficial to taxpayers as well – saving more than $1.3 billion. Unfortunately, the program ran out of funds and faced difficult financial times when, in 2006 and 2007, the program was refused funding. Then, Governor Schwarzenegger threatened to significantly cut funding to Proposition 36. The University of California at Los Angeles has done extensive studies of Proposition 36 and discovered that, due to lack of funding, some participants are received inferior treatment. However, the program has been successful as a whole. Because of these results, UCLA has been commissioned to continue studying the program to gain a wider understanding of its influence on California state budget as well as public safety.

Los Angeles Drug Defense Lawyers Explain Proposition 36

Because of its success, Proposition 36 has gathered national attention and begun a growing trend to make the criminal justice system focus on public health instead of incarceration. Prisons are expensive; rehabilitation centers are not only cheaper, but improve public health and safety as well. According to surveys, 63% of Americans individuals convicted of drug crimes to be treated by counselors and rehabilitation centers instead of prisons.

Other states, such as Arizona and Maryland, understand Proposition 36's value and are making efforts to give non-violent drug offenders a chance at recovery instead of incarceration. At Martinian & Associates, we understand the uncertainty and frustration you face when accused of drug crime.

If you or a loved one are faced with charges of a drug offense, do not hesitate to call a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We may be able to help!

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