Voters Just Say No To Drug Rehab Measure

Prop 5 Defeated

California voters have defeated a ballot measure designed to divert a projected 84,000 drug offenders each year from prison and jail into treatment programs, the Associated Press reported.

Proposition 5 had 38 percent in favor but 62 percent opposed with 23 percent of precincts reporting.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office projected the initiative could trim California's inmate population by 17 percent, saving the state $1 billion in annual prison costs.

The savings would be offset by voter-mandated spending for treatment programs that eventually would top $1 billion a year.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and all four of his living predecessors criticized the measure as part of a nationwide drive to decriminalize drugs. They said serious criminals could go free if they convinced a judge their crimes were drug-related.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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