Heroin or Cocaine in Your Pocket Could Be Misdemeanor Under California Sen. Mark Leno's Proposed Law

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Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 8:08 AM
click to enlarge MICHELLE IRISH
  • Michelle Irish

So you like heroin and you like to take it with you on trips to the museum, chamber orchestra performances and panel discussions on neurology. But you don't like being pulled over, getting your arms checked for track marks, and having your car searched only to be jailed for possession?

Well has San Francisco state Sen. Mark Leno got a law for you.

The liberal politician wants to do away with felony status for "holding:"

Last week he introduced a proposed law called SB 1506, which would ...

... make the unlawful possession of any of those substances ... cocaine, heroin, and those classified in Schedule III, IV, or V as a narcotic drug ... a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year.

As it is, possession for personal use of such drugs is a felony worth 16 months to three years behind bars in California. (Of course, given jail overcrowding in places like L.A. County, such time seems unlikely).

Still, Leno, a longtime medical marijuana supporter, wants to further decriminalize drug use and stop stuffing our jails and prisons with people whose greatest crimes have been against themselves and good hygene.

Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance, states:

The real crime is the law that treats drug possession for personal use as a felony. Sen. Leno's bill aspires to a more civilized society in which citizens are spared the stigma of a felony conviction, and in which taxpayers are spared the indignity and waste of $2 billion over the next ten years.


[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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