Dem. AG Candidates Balk at Prison Reform Bill

August 22 - In a troubling development, the state assembly is balking at passing the prison population reduction bill passed by the state senate. The major objection appears to be precisely the provision of most interest to marijuana and drug reformers, namely one which would empower a state sentencing commission to review existing felony penalties for various offenses including drugs, and potentially reduce them to wobblers or misdemeanors.

Most disturbing is the fact that resistance to the sentencing reduction plan is coming from two "moderate" Democrats who are leading candidates for attorney general: Alberto Torrico of Fremont (phone 916-319-2020; FAX 319:2120) and Ted Lieu of Torrance (phone 916-319-2053; FAX 319:2153). Constituents are urged to contact their legislators to support marijuana sentencing reduction.

The Senate bill includes provisions for a sentencing commission, which would be empowered to revise penalties for most drug and marijuana felonies, among other things.

See: Prison bill hits roadblock in Assembly
SF Chronicle, Aug 22, 2009