Prop. 5

California Proposition 5 (2008)
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        a.. 1e$B%De(BProvisions of the initiative
          a.. 1.1e$B%De(BFiscal impact analysis
        b.. 2e$B%De(BSupporters
          a.. 2.1e$B%De(BArgument in favor of Prop 5
          b.. 2.2e$B%De(BDonors to the Prop 5 campaign
          c.. 2.3e$B%De(BPath to Ballot
        c.. 3e$B%De(BOpposition
          a.. 3.1e$B%De(BArguments against Prop 5
          b.. 3.2e$B%De(BLawsuit to remove from ballot
        d.. 4e$B%De(BNewspaper endorsements
          a.. 4.1e$B%De(BEditorial boards in favor
          b.. 4.2e$B%De(BEditorial boards opposed
        e.. 5e$B%De(BExternal Links
          a.. 5.1e$B%De(BBasic information
        f.. 6e$B%De(BReferences
        g.. 7e$B%De(BAdditional reading

California Proposition 5, or thee$B%De(BNonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Acte$B%De(B(ore$B%De(BNORA) is ane$B%De(Binitiated state statutee$B%De(Bthat has been certified to
appear as ae$B%De(Bballot measuree$B%De(Bon thee$B%De(BNovember 2008 ballote$B%De(BinCalifornia.

Provisions of the initiative
Proposition 5:

  a.. Requires California to expand and increase funding and oversight for
individualized treatment and rehabilitation programs for nonviolent drug
offenders and parolees.
  b.. Reduces criminal consequences of nonviolent drug offenses by mandating
three-tiered probation with treatment and by providing for case dismissal
and/or sealing of records after probation.
  c.. Limits courte$Bc`QTe(B authority to incarcerate offenders who violate
probation or parole.
  d.. Shortens parole for most drug offenses, including sales, and for
nonviolent property crimes.
  e.. Creates numerous divisions, boards, commissions, and reporting
requirements regarding drug treatment and rehabilitation.
  f.. Changes certain marijuana misdemeanors to infractions.
Fiscal impact analysis
According to the state of California, the initiative, if it passes, would
lead to:

  a.. Increased state costs that could exceed $1 billion annually primarily
for expanding drug treatment and rehabilitation programs for offenders in
state prisons, on parole, and in the community.
  b.. Savings to the state that could exceed $1 billion annually due
primarily to reduced prison and parole operating costs.
  c.. Net savings on a one-time basis on capital outlay costs for prison
facilities that could exceed $2.5 billion.
  d.. Unknown net fiscal effect on expenditures for county operations and
capital outlay.
The official proponent of the measure is Daniel Abrahamson.

Argument in favor of Prop 5
Notable arguments that have been made in favor of Prop 5 include:

  a.. Prop 5 would reduce pressure on overcrowded and expensive prisons.
  b.. Prop. 5 creates treatment options for young people with drug problems
that do not exist under current law
  c.. Voter-approvede$B%De(BProposition 36e$B%De(Bprovided treatment, not jail, for
nonviolent drug users.
  d.. One-third have completed treatment and became productive, tax-paying
  e.. Since 2000, Prop. 36 has graduated 84,000 people and saved almost $2
Donors to the Prop 5 campaign
As of October , 2008, the five largest donors to the "Yes on 5" campaign

  a.. George Soros, $1,400,000;[1]
  b.. Jacob Goldfield, $1,400,000.
  c.. Bob Wilson, $2,100,000;
  d.. John Sperling, $1,000,000;
  e.. Thee$B%De(BRockit Fund, a New York City-based organization, $500,000.
  f.. Thee$B%De(BDrug Policy Alliance Network, $400,000.[2]
Path to Ballot
The petition drive conducted to qualify the measure for the fall ballot was
conducted bye$B%De(BProgressive Campaigns, Inc.e$B%De(Bat a cost of about $1.762

  a.. Thee$B%De(BPeople Against the Proposition 5 Deceptione$B%De(Bis the official
committee against the proposition. As of July 14, 2008, the group reports no
financial activity.[4]
  b.. Actor Martin Sheen, who announced in late August that he would be a
leading spokesperson in opposition to Prop. 5. In his announcement, he said
he strongly supports treatment for drug offenders but that treatment "must
be accompanied by tough penalties."[5],[6]
  c.. The district attorneys of 32 California counties.
  d.. Former Governor Gray Davis
  e.. Former Governor Pete Wilson
  f.. John Walters, the National Drug Control Policy director, a position
that is sometimes referred to as the "U.S. drug czar". Walters flew from
D.C. to California to campaign against Proposition 5 in late October, saying
it "will undermine court-based treatment programs they say have succeeded
over the past decade."[7]
Arguments against Prop 5
Notable arguments that have been made against Prop 5 include:

  a.. Proposition 5 has been called the "Drug Dealerse$Bc`!&e(BBill of Rights"
because it shortens parole for methamphetamine dealers and other drug felons
from 3 years to 6 months.
  b.. It would "require California to spend hundreds of millions of dollars
a year on rehabilitation programs" during a time that the state's budget is
in a deficit and its economy faltering.[8]
  c.. This measure may provide a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card to many of
those accused of other crimes by claiming drugs made them do it, letting
them effectively escape criminal prosecution."
  d.. Proposition 5 establishes two new bureaucracies with virtually no
accountability, and which will cost hundreds of millions in taxpayer
  e.. According to some drug court judges in Yolo County, "This is an
initiative written by an advocacy group. It is very long, encompassing 36
single-spaced pages in a relatively small font. It makes intricate and
detailed amendments to a significant number of existing statutes and
executive policies. We doubt that 5 percent of the voters of California will
have read the entire text of this new law before they vote on it. Is this a
good way to make state law?"[9]
  f.. "This basically grants tweekers rights. e$Bc`O/e(Buff said. Anyone whoe$Bc`QTe(B
had their [...] jacked by a tweeker can feel me on this one."[1]
  g.. Addicted defendants will be permitted five violations of probation or
treatment failures based on drug use, and judges will be unable to
meaningfully intervene until the sixth violation.
Lawsuit to remove from ballot
Opponents of Proposition 5, including thirty-two district attorneys and
former California governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis petitioned thee$B%De(BCalifornia
Supreme Courte$B%De(Bto issue a preemptory writ of mandate to remove
Proposition 5 from the November ballot. The lawsuit alleges that Proposition
5 attempts to alter the constitution via statute, which is

The California Supreme Court declined to issue the preemptory writ.
Generally, initiatives constitutionality are not reviewed until after a vote
has passed and the initiative becomes law.[12]

Newspaper endorsements
Editorial boards in favor
  a.. The San Francisco Bay Guardian[13]
Editorial boards opposed
  a.. Thee$B%De(BLos Angeles Times[14]
  b.. Thee$B%De(BPasadena Star News[15]

External Links
  a.. Yes on Proposition 5
  b.. No on Proposition 5
Basic information
  a.. California Voter's Guide for Proposition 5
  b.. Official Text of the Initiative
  c.. Signatures pending validation
  d.. Prop 5 information page
  e.. California Voter Online guide to Proposition 5
  f.. Smart Voter Guide to Proposition 5
  g.. Institute of Governmental Studies Hot Topic: Proposition 5
  1.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BSacramento Bee, "George Soros adds $400,000 to Yes on 5",
September 3, 2008
  2.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BDetails of $5,000+ donations
  3.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BCampaign expenditure details
  4.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BPeople against the Prop 5 deception
  5.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BLos Angeles Times, "'No on Prop. 5' links liberal Martin
Sheen with unlikely allies, August 27, 2008
  6.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BMercury News, "Martin Sheen opposes drug measure on Calif.
ballot", August 27, 2008
  7.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BSacramento Bee; The Sacto 9-1-1 blog, "U.S. drug czar rips
Prop. 5", October 21, 2008
  8.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BSan Francisco Chronicle, "Nation's drug czar denounces
Calif. ballot measure", October 21, 2008
  9.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BSacramento Bee, "Our View: Judges believe Proposition 5's
flaws are fatal", October 3, 2008
  10.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BNo on Prop 5 Campaign Files With State Supreme Court to
Remove It From the Ballot, July 17, 2008
  11.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BCalif. justices asked to reject drug initiative
  12.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BCalifornia Supreme Court rejects efforts to strike prop 5
from ballot.
  13.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BSan Francisco Bay Guardian, "Endorsements 2008: State
ballot measures", October 8, 2008
  14.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BLos Angeles Times, "No on Proposition 9", September 26,
  15.. e$Bcf!&e(B/a>e$B%De(BPasadena Star News, "Dangerous Prop 5", September 2, 2008
Additional reading
  a.. Peter Schrag: Props. 5 and 8 will make waves nationally
  b.. California Ballot Propositions May Start National Trend on Prisons and
Rehabilitation of Drug Offenders and Same Sex Marriage