Patterico's Pontifications


No on Proposition 5: It Doesn’t Just Apply to Drug Crimes

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 12:25 am

A smart (but misguided) friend of mine voted for California’s Proposition 5, a terrible proposition that all but mandates “drug treatment” for all sorts of crimes. It turns out that my friend thought the proposition covers only drug crimes. No! Here’s my boss to explain:

What sorts of criminals would qualify for this preferential “get out of jail free” treatment? The list is long and frightening. It includes those who commit certain arsons and burglaries, identity theft, child pornography, domestic violence, auto theft, mortgage fraud, lewd acts on teenagers, illegal weapons possession, drug sales, grand theft (in any amount), all kinds of fraud, drunk driving (even when causing bodily injury) and many other crimes.

California already mandates drug treatment for simple drug possession. For nonviolent offenders whose problems result from drugs, judges and D.A.’s already have discretion to give offenders drug programs instead of jail or prison.

But many criminals aren’t suffering primarily from a drug problem. Many are suffering from a “committing crimes” problem.

The way to address someone with a severe case of “committing crimes” is to lock up that person. Period.

You can be against the drug war, and favor treatment for drug offenders, and still vote against this proposition — which essentially tosses the criminal justice system aside in favor of drug treatment for car thieves, wife beaters, identity thieves, etc.

I heard my office’s Chief Deputy saying on the radio that we file 75,000 felony cases per year in Los Angeles County, and 50,000 would be eligible for “treatment” programs under this initiative.


No on 5.

30 Responses to “No on Proposition 5: It Doesn’t Just Apply to Drug Crimes”

  1. I’ve not read CA prop 5 and do not intend to. Ignorance can be bliss, or total ignorance.

    But it’s beyond time we end this so called war on “some” drugs. It’s a total failure and has been for 60 plus years!

    Start there and we might see many other crimes go the way of the horse for transportation. Oh and we do have many more horses in this nation today than we did we we all depended upon them for basic transportation.

    Your boss paints with a rather large brush.

    … It includes those who commit certain arsons and burglaries, identity theft, child pornography, domestic violence, auto theft, mortgage fraud, lewd acts on teenagers, illegal weapons possession, drug sales, grand theft (in any amount), all kinds of fraud, drunk driving (even when causing bodily injury)…

    identify theft, just kill em!
    Child porn the same, well as long it’s not just happening upon a site containing such, but actual production of such.
    DV is over rated and caused 60% of the time by women, then they cry wolf. Neuter them all!
    Mortgage fraud? They qualify for fannie or freddie execs, so they should be rewarded with a large payout.
    Teenagers are already so lewd that I think there is almost nothing an adult could actually do to “gross” them out. Just offend some law designed to prevent it, but of course fails.
    The second amendment is the only real law concerning weapons/guns. All the rest of the laws are actually unconstitutional and need be stricken.
    Fraud is a massive brush. I doubt even your boss could paint with it. (meaning such can be construed a catch all for other potential crimes yet to be defined or discovered that one could possibly be charged with).
    Drunk drivers, when they really are drunk, and one can forget the .08 definition, which is an arbitrary number that means something for the once in a while drinker and nothing for those that are bit more regular. If they really are the CAUSE of such harm, then punish them. But today if anybody has so much as consumed a single drink and get in an accident caused by another party the person that consumed the drink is assumed at fault, and the official records state “Alcohol related”! A little on first offense and graduate it. People can and do change!

    Our so called “justice” system was long ago replaced by a “legal” system. Such was wrong to allow to happen. But it did. As such all of a sudden we have laws designed so that even few attorneys actually know what is what. But the HS dropouts, we allow to become the enforcement arm of the crap the attorney loaded legislatures pass as laws, don’t care.

    How about we publicly hang civil servants when we discover their wrongs to the citizens? Ever time, every wrong sentance is the same, public hanging! That would include wrongful convictions, fraud, embezzlement, or withholding of evidence by a govt agency/Nifonging!

    We citizens deserve only totally honest folks on our payroll. 100% of the time! What are we going to do to insure we get exactly that?!

    With the total mess up that the American justice, no legal, system is in today, I’d recommend someone living in Ca vote for prop 5. Just because it will throw a wrench into the current system of injustice that seems way too prevalent across the entire nation. It’s probably preferable to another tea party, which would be much more broad than Boston Harbor if held today.

    Hypothetical drivel. If I were a judge and If a cop was proved to have planted evidence, or lied to gain a search warrant in my courtroom, his entrails would be the clean up of the hour! Court would continue through the clean up as well. That is the standard that should be DEMANDED from all public servants/employees 100% of the time!

    My only suggestion is to self regulate, or the citizens will! Oh and don’t worry about justice for those mentioned by your boss, one can be sure the citizens will rehabilitate them as well as ending their current career as well.

    Oh and I will add that the citizens will not kill near the number of decent/innocent citizens as does law enforcement seems to today and total costs will drop dramatically as well.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  2. Patterico:
    Wording amiss here?

    For nonviolent offenders whose problems result from drug treatment

    [Yes, thank you. Fixed. — P]

    m (a7a8b3)

  3. #1 TC:

    Hypothetical drivel.

    You just posted quite a bit of it. The legal system has never worked the way you want it to; and likely never will.

    #2 m: Yeah, I noticed that also~seems clear that the intent is “nonviolent offenders whose problems result from drug abuse or addiction…”

    TC, in spite of your feeling that

    But it’s beyond time we end this so called war on “some” drugs. It’s a total failure and has been for 60 plus years!

    you haven’t exactly proposed a solution there. There is a significant portion of the population at risk of addiction, and it can be a very ugly thing.

    Even so, people can manage to live healthy, happy lives in spite of addiction if they understand how the disease works~attacking the brain at a very low level that messes up the very mechanisms that our survival depends on, and are willing to do the work necessary to maintain their health.

    And if they can’t do that, then they need to be locked up when they commit crimes, regardless of whether the crime was drug induced or not. Both for the safety of the public, and to give the addict that far gone a chance of changing their life before it kills them. So, “NO On 5!” is not only good policy for protecting the would be victims of crime, but it also leaves that last chance intervention that is the only way to reach some addicts in place: jail time.

    And no matter what you do, there are going to be people that are untreatable. And its going to kill them, or others. And the only way to mitigate that is to make it as difficult as possible for them to obtain their drug of choice. (They will anyway, but the more difficult it is, the more noticeable their aberrant behavior, increasing the chance of intervention.)

    EW1(SG) (9a80bf)

  4. Drugs are a mere symptom of a criminal’s problem.

    Alta Bob (408027)

  5. 4:

    Drugs are a mere symptom of a criminal’s problem.

    I’m unsure if that was intended as ironic humor or not, but it looks more likely just bassackwards.

    EW1(SG) (da07da)

  6. “Drugs are a mere symptom of a criminal’s problem.”
    Comment by Alta Bob — 10/31/2008 @ #4

    I agree.

    C. Norris (da0d19)

  7. Druggies, every one of you! Druggies. I’m surprised you could put down the crack pipe or heroin needle long enough to come up with the coherent arguments I’m reading about against the wonderful, successful, profitable, rehabilitating drug war against our own citizens.

    For shame… for shame…

    i like america (d2f951)

  8. I’m voting against Prop. 5 for a completely different reason: it mandates spending.

    I have a longstanding policy of voting against all ballot measures which explicitly mandate spending at the state level for a particular cause (as distinct from bond measures, which borrow money for a particular cause), because I think history has shown that this simply operates to make it impossible for the legislature to pass a budget.

    (I’ll vote for local tax increases which mandate that the tax money be spent for a particular cause, if I think they are reasonable; but local government budgeting and state government budgeting are entirely different beasts).

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  9. All drug sellers should be shot…
    All drug users should be told they’ll be shot the second time they’re picked up.

    Drug use is the sign of the presence of a regressive gene that needs to be wiped from the gene pool.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  10. Now Drew, I know you’re not talking about the summary execution of every Pfizer employee, every pharmacist, every peddler of alcohol and tobacco…

    Where do you draw the line?

    i like america (d2f951)

  11. So if I were a criminal, the passage of proposition 5 would allow me to create a “get out of jail free” escape clause – simply light up a joint when stealing that car.

    Then, if I am caught in possession of this stolen car, I’ll be able to claim the devil weed made me do it, and rather then spend taxpayer money locking me up, the powers that be will have a monetary incentive to religate me to less expensive outpatient addiction services.

    Is that about the size of it?

    Sounds like the stance Mexico has taken regarding extradition of crooks who might face the death penalty in America. It encourages car thieves to commit murder rather then surrender.

    papertiger (bd6c91)

  12. Comment by i like america — 10/31/2008 @ 9:49 am

    Stop being cute.
    You know damn well who I am talking about; unless,
    you approve of gang-bangers selling drugs to your kids, and starting them down a “Road To Perdition”?

    The elimination of the use of illicit drugs in this society would spread far and wide throughout the world in dealing with some of the worse pathologies limiting personal freedom and economic survivability of millions here and elsewhere.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  13. and another thing…
    I find your sobriquet very interesting how it attempts to conceal your contempt, but reveals it for everyone.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  14. This is a remarkably stoooooooopid idea.

    JD (5b4781)

  15. Who the heck put this proposition up in the first place?

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  16. All I had to hear about Prop 5 to know it was a bad idea was the disclaimer at the end of the radio spot: “Major funding by … George Soros…”

    I have long rejected the conspiracy theories propagated by the likes of Lyndon LaRouche, Alex Jones and Tony Alamo, who lately has been arraigned on charges of child porn and accused of sex with children a la FLDS. All of them breathlessly allege that they have uncovered the darkest secret of mankind: There is a cabal of evil individuals with unimaginable wealth and power who treat the world like a game of Sid Meier’s Civilization, but using real nations and real people.

    But all I needed to gain perspective on such hysteria was to realize that the plot peddlers give you all the details, but no real hope of solutions. ‘They, the Illuminati/Trilateralists/Bilderbergers/WTO/Freemasons/Bohemian Grovers are controlling the worrrrld,’ they say. Gosh! So, what are we gonna do about it? ‘Besides sending me money to get the word out? Uh … nothing, really, except pray. They’re too strong for us to stop ’em. Just thought you oughta know.’ Gee, thanks, fella.

    It was different when I first learned of George Soros through his February 1997 his cover article in The Atlantic Monthly called “The Capitalist Threat” in which he wrote about the progress of his well-funded efforts to bring his pet philosophy — Karl Popper’s “Open Society” — to fruition on a grand scale.

    Note my bold type in two paragraphs in the original article:

    … When I had made more money than I needed, I decided to set up a foundation. I reflected on what it was I really cared about. Having lived through both Nazi persecution and Communist oppression, I came to the conclusion that what was paramount for me was an open society. So I called the foundation the Open Society Fund, and I defined its objectives as opening up closed societies, making open societies more viable, and promoting a critical mode of thinking. That was in 1979.

    My first major undertaking was in South Africa, but it was not successful. The apartheid system was so pervasive that whatever I tried to do made me part of the system rather than helping to change it. Then I turned my attention to Central Europe. Here I was much more successful. I started supporting the Charter 77 movement in Czechoslovakia in 1980 and Solidarity in Poland in 1981. I established separate foundations in my native country, Hungary, in 1984, in China in 1986, in the Soviet Union in 1987, and in Poland in 1988. My engagement accelerated with the collapse of the Soviet system …

    I was thunderstruck reading this, because unlike tinfoil-wearing third parties pointing at a shadowy figure saying “Look, there! He’s one of the guys that wants to manipulate the world with his wealth!” here was Soros, out in the light, pointing at his own chest, saying, “I DO want to manipulate the world, and in my short time left will spend every dime I make (often through nefarious means) to get it accomplished. And don’t think I don’t have a shot at doing it, because my strategy has worked already.”

    If you peruse the Open Societies Institute website (, you will find that along with funding ostensibly humanitarian efforts throughout the world, you will find funding for activist groups fighting law-and-order crime measures, fostering support for drug decriminalization, and such stuff. Soros’ support for Prop 5 is one of those efforts. But as is obvious, Soros thinks macro, not micro; ballot measures are small potatoes for an international agitator. We already know Soros previously backed losers Gore and Kerry. We already know that Soros switched his sights to Barack Obama even when Hillary Clinton was presumed to be the Dem nominee for President. I know that Soros was in the front row at the Vice Presidential debate. (Click here for slideshow evidence.) We already know that Barack Obama’s worldview was shaped by his association with revolutionaries. I personally don’t think there are too many dots needed to get the true picture.

    (True, Soros himself has gone head to head with Soviet-bloc communists, but his stock-in-trade has been those promoting “change” to his “Open Society,” not free-market capitalism, which he disparages in terms common to socialists. Read Soros’ laborious Atlantic piece as long as you can, and you’ll see what I mean.)

    Should Obama prevail next Tuesday, I am wondering how soon Soros will cash in his chips for his assistance in making Obama (gulp) Leader of The Free “Free” World, and how it will be sold to the American public. If President-Elect Obama happens (yeah, I know, some of you are digesting breakfast or lunch), it will be the greatest accomplishment in Soros’ thirty years of seeking to enforce his vision of the world on an unsuspecting population.

    Here’s a tip: Look at the Soros’ Open Society Institute website for common names that could be bandied about for department positions (e.g. Morton Halperin).

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  17. Patricia wrote: Who the heck put this proposition up in the first place?

    I answer that question in #16.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  18. Comment by L.N. Smithee — 10/31/2008 @ 11:48 am

    Don’t forget how Soros practically forced the Government of the United Kingdom into bankruptcy through his manipulation of the Pound-Sterling in the early 90’s.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  19. Another Drew wrote: Don’t forget how Soros practically forced the Government of the United Kingdom into bankruptcy through his manipulation of the Pound-Sterling in the early 90’s.

    That’s what I meant by “often through nefarious means”.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  20. Here is just one current example of how our justice system is working.

    Embezzler to serve 20 days.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  21. Comment by Another Drew

    Nice word, but I think I’ve been pretty consistent in NOT trying to hide any contempt I feel.

    Back to the point: you’re all for killing illicit drug dealers? And killing anyone who’s caught with drugs twice? I don’t think you’ll find a political party that supports that solution in the USA. You might take that line up in Russia or China.

    i like america (d2f951)

  22. I don’t think you’ll find a political party that supports that solution in the USA

    And that is why we will eventually descend into the Hell that is was Colombia, is becoming Mexico, and is looking at us next.
    From Juarez to El Paso is just a bridge across the river.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  23. Clicked on your link to the embezzler, TC.

    I am eagerly awaiting your point.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  24. I don’t follow your line of reasoning AD

    In Mexico, Columbia, et al, the drug lords are more powerful than the police. Drug lords have billions of dollars and zero oversight. If you know anyone from a border town, you know this to be the case.

    The only way to stop the drug lords is to stop the supply or the demand. We’re failing pretty pathetically on the supply-side. And the demand-side doesn’t seem to go down either, no matter how much DARE and other education we shove down kid’s throats.

    The only solution that even seems like it could possibly work in theory is to make all drugs legal, regulated and taxed. Not like tobacco, like prescriptions. Then the drug lords (criminals) would have to compete with corporations (who won’t use guns or terrorize neighborhoods) and they will inevitably lose.

    Pfizer will beat any drug lord into the ground via the free market system.

    Problem with that solution is it seems fine in theory but really totally stupid in reality. Just really, really, really naive and stupid. I just can’t get past the stupid to really support the idea.

    But I don’t see any other options. I don’t see the current drug war winning and I don’t see any other options as realistic.

    Certainly shooting people is just entirely over the line.

    i like america (d2f951)

  25. You have to make each individual weigh the consequences of their actions, and decide for themselves what course they wish to navigate.

    Isn’t that the principle behind a criminal justice system?
    Freedom, or Incarceration (or worse).

    If we don’t stop the spread of illicit drugs in this country, the cartels will slowly take over the streets here as they have elsewhere.

    Do I advocate an extreme course of action?
    Extreme situations call for extreme actions, unless you plan to just capitulate to evil.

    All it takes for evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  26. Cool. It takes thinking about legalizing drugs to motivate the America griefer to write more than a one line snark comment.

    We have isolated a priority issue for the bong monkey.

    daleyrocks (83b6c5)

  27. LN, the point is the disparity in what a normal citizen could expect as a sentence for committing felony’s, and the sentence handed down to a “fellow public servant”! Actually the fun inthe link was the comments.

    ILA, no more like Tobacco and booze, tax and control, scripts don’t work as we are now throwing Dr.s in jail for caring for valid patients! Oh and for the few that are deserving as script machines. But as with No_KNOCK warrants served by SWAT teams we are just killing more innocents with zeal and the desire to “make an example” out of somebody! Ta hell with REAL guilt this one will serve as an example!

    “If we don’t stop the spread of illicit drugs in this country, the cartels will slowly take over the streets here as they have elsewhere.”

    Be specific, do you mean like areas of South Central, Philli, DC, maybe any correctional institution, or might you be referring to cities like Amsterdam? Oh wait, stuff is legal in Amsterdam and they don’t seem to have near the crime we have here.

    “Extreme situations call for extreme actions, unless you plan to just capitulate to evil.”

    I could not agree more. Now we have before us a PROVEN FAILED track record making them illegal and growing close to a full racket in an attempt to stop them, how about we RACIALLY try another course?

    “All it takes for evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing.”

    Or put Barney Fife in SWAT gear with real bullets! Or allow the Nifong’s anything sans a solid beating! Tar & Feathers, it don’t take much more than an enabled citizenry.

    AD, you seem to be a very wise person in all but the “war on drugs”, with that subject you simply conform to the dogma that this nation has lived with for 70 years, more if you consider the Karri Nation years and prohibition. Which brought to power the likes of the Kennedy’s, ole “Swimmer” for sure is a real leader right?

    But you are not alone is such thin thought either. When doing the same thing time and time and time again yields the exact same results, then indeed it is time for a change. Maybe the goal really is unattainable, for sure proven by booze prohibition, so we set an alternate one.

    Did it eliminate all problems associated with the consumption of booze? Not at all!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  28. Cool. It takes thinking about legalizing drugs to motivate the America griefer to write more than a one line snark comment.

    We have isolated a priority issue for the bong monkey.

    Talking about me? Heh. I work at a place that searches you when you enter and leave the building. I work at a place where random drug tests are common, old-hat occurrences. The real spooks come show up at my house and my friends’ houses at Friday around 10pm when I recommend friends for jobs, or when someone I know tries to increase their security clearance.

    Me having a bong would be a sure ticket to jail or worse.

    i like america (d2f951)

  29. Comment by TC — 10/31/2008 @ 10:08 pm

    It is the streets of America that I am concerned about. The streets that I see almost unlimited gang-warfare on today over the question as to which gang will control what territory for their drug sales. The streets where 3-yr old’s are being shot and killed for no reason other than standing in the front yard of their home.

    There is a war going on inside America between the forces of Good, and Evil. Unfortunately, the forces of Good have Rules of Engagement that only allow one consequence: Loosing!

    It is time to effect a SURGE – the primary benefit of that change in policy in Iraq was a change in the RoE.

    Drug Dealing should be subject to Summary Execution, just as the capture of terrorists (under the various Rules of War) allows for same.
    The Drug Cartels (gangs) ARE terrorists whose aim is to drive America into a position of submission to their will, and their anarchy.

    As to the steets of Amsterdam, and the drug policies of the Dutch…They have given up, and are just going along with the flow. There is no moral fiber left there (Gertrude Stein, where are you?), and the nation will be one of the first to completely come under Shariah Law. The assassination of the film-maker vonGogh shows that the Muslims think that they can act with virtual impunity.

    One of the great sticking point I have with the way the Federal Government has handled the Drug Question, is the failure to ban drugs by the method that they knew would be required for alcohol.

    It is time we have one of those Great National Debates over whether of not certain drugs shall be legalized, de-criminalized, regulated and taxed, or whatever.

    Let’s have a Constitutional Amendment that we can discuss in the Halls of Congress, and then in the 50 State Capitols.

    But, be forewarned, just as the aftermath of Prohibition saw some of the most violent gang warfare as the boot-leggers moved into other areas of crime, we will see the same with the druggies.
    These drug/street gangs must be crushed.
    They must be given a choice, and a hard one at that:
    Complete re-nunciation of illicit behavior, or DEATH!

    If we cannot do what is neccessary for the survival of a civilized society, then we have lost already, and deserve what we get.

    I yield the soap-box….

    Another Drew (7e8922)

  30. Bleading hearts = blood on the streets

    Icy Truth (84d054)

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