California voters have handily approved Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, passing it with 57% of the vote. The initiative will remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the offense to a misdemeanor.
The initiative, which won’t apply to those with a history of violent crimes, will also defelonize other nonviolent offenses such as petty theft and check fraud. The proposal was put forth by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne.
The initiative is expected to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
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