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If nothing changes, prison spending will reach $15 billion in 2011. All for a war on drugs that’s doing a lot more harm than good.
FLOM SAYS: VOTE YES ON PROP. 5 & HELP RESTORE SANITY TO CALIFORNIA'S JUSTICE SYSTEM
A HITS Op. Ed Piece by Jason Flom
Veteran record exec Jason Flom, who recently joined Monte Lipman’s Universal Republic label, has for years tirelessly supported FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) and other organizations that work for fairness in the criminal justice system, specifically in the area of eliminating jail terms for nonviolent drug law offenders. He has been a benefactor of the Freedom Fund, money put up to help people who can’t afford the $250 to $1,500 in bail for minor offenses and has fought against the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Vote Yes on Prop. 5: The Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act.

I could easily have been one of the hundreds of thousands of people locked up in California for a nonviolent drug crime in the past few decades. As could so many of us in the entertainment business. The current policy has proven to be cruel, misguided and wasteful, and that’s why Californians should vote YES on Proposition 5 this Tuesday.

What if you could make possession of under an ounce of marijuana a simple infraction and save 40,000 Californians from a criminal record each year?

What if you could help reduce the number of people in prison or on parole because of drugs by another 40,000 within a few years?

What if you could create drug treatment for young people in the community—something California has never had?

And what if, at the same time, you could reduce drug-war spending in California by $1 billion a year?

Would you do it? Then vote YES on Prop. 5…and make it all happen.

Prop. 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, will cut prison spending by $1 billion each year—and put that into rehabilitation instead. It would also cut prison construction costs by $2.5 billion!!

This is the only plan to slow California’s out-of-control prison growth. Prison spending is already at $10 billion this year—up from $4 billion in 2000. California now spends more money locking people up than it does on higher education! If nothing changes, prison spending will reach $15 billion in 2011. All for a war on drugs that’s doing a lot more harm than good.

In 1980 there were fewer than 2,000 people in prison in California for drug offenses. Twenty years later, that number had increased more than 20 times—to 45,000.

It’s simple. Vote YES on Prop. 5 and you will be voting to decriminalize marijuana, save billions of tax dollars and give tens of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders a chance to turn their lives around.

Learn more about Prop 5 here: http://www.prop5yes.com. Learn more about the drug war at http://www.drugpolicy.org and http://www.famm.org/

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