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Prevent One Million Drug Deaths

Shut down the fentanyl dealing, mandate treatment, and make shoplifting illegal again
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Transcript

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Crime is killing California. According to the FBI, violent crime is 31% higher in California than in the US as a whole. And it’s not just violent crime. During the pandemic, property crime declined nationwide, but rose in California.

Things are even more grim when it comes to hard drug deaths. In 2018, San Francisco’s overdose death rate was the same as the national average. But in 2023, San Francisco’s drug death rate was more than double the national level.

If nothing is done, one million people will die from drugs over the next decade.

What’s happening isn’t right. It’s not compassionate. It’s cruel.

A big part of the reason for worsening crime, drug deaths, and homelessness is people like me. In 2014, I and millions of others voted for something called Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for hard drug possession and shoplifting.

At the time, we thought we were being compassionate. People who steal to support their drug habits should go to rehab, not prison. I still believe that.

But Prop 47 made it harder to mandate drug treatment because it effectively decriminalized hard drug dealing, public drug use, and theft under 950 dollars,  with no incentive to enter rehab.

None of us thought about it at the time, but this combination is devastating. Prop 47 allowed shoplifters and thieves to break the law with impunity, often to support their deadly drug habit. The money addicts make from selling their stolen goods goes to drug dealers, so in effect, our laws subsidize the Sinaloa drug cartel, which has pioneered new forms of extreme violence.

That’s why so many stores, from Walgreens and Old Navy to Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, are closing and leaving town

There is a better way. We need to mandate rehabilitation, not prison, for people who repeatedly break the law to support their addiction. We need to crack down on open-air dealing of fentanyl, which is killing our people. And we need to make it illegal to steal from retail stores, and hold people accountable.

Californians are coming together to support a new ballot initiative to save thousands of lives that will otherwise be lost to fentanyl. Supporters include the very progressive mayors from San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, and other mayors from across the state.

Californians are coming together to support a new ballot initiative called the Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act.  You can help get the measure on the ballot this November by contributing to the campaign. Please visit CASafecommunities.com to learn more.

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