If you get caught with a little dope in your pocket you could see up to three years behind bars. While that kind of time is rare these days, you'd still be strip searched and treated like the worst kind of criminal by the cops.

The thing is, we the people, who are supposed to run this world we live in, don't agree with that at all, it seems. At least in California.

According to a poll this week by Tulchin Research and distributed by the ACLU (PDF), 70 percent of California voters …

… support a proposal by state Sen. Mark Leno (SB 1506) that would downgrade possession of small amounts of drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor. Forty-three percent “strongly support” such reform.

The ACLU is trumpeting the results.

Leno's bill would reduce possible jail time to 1 year. And an analysis claims it would save counties about $159 million a year in jail and court costs. The state would save $64.4 million. Five years' worth of savings could be $1 billion.

Leno, who represents the San Francisco area, says:

Convicting drug users of felonies and incarcerating them without drug treatment does nothing to help them overcome addiction and denies them career and educational opportunities when they are released.

The bill is headed for a vote by the end of the month.

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

LA Weekly