California Court of Appeal Invalidates Legislative Amendments to Voter-Approved Drug-Treatment Diversion Initiative
Prop. 36 generally provides that those convicted of drug possession offenses should receive probation with drug treatment, rather than incarceration. It permits amendment by the Legislature only “to further its purposes.” The Court of Appeal identified those purposes as: (1) preexisting public health by expanding treatment for drug addiction and abuse; (2) enhancing public safety by reserving jail cells for violent criminals; and (3) saving money by affording treatment in lieu of incarceration.
Senate Bill 1137 contained provisions permitting incarceration for drug-related probation violations when such a sanction was prohibited by the terms of Prop. 36. The Court of Appeal held that those provisions clearly contravened the public safety and money-saving purposes of Prop. 36 (by reducing the jail space available for violent criminals and increasing the costs incurred in connection with nonviolent drug possession offenders).
By its own terms, Senate Bill 1137's amendments to Prop. 36 are not severable. The unconstitutionality of the drug-related probation violation provisions rendered the balance of senate Bill 1137 inoperative. See: Gardner v. Schwarzenegger, 178 Cal.App.4th 1366 (2009).
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Related legal case
Gardner v. Schwarzenegger
|Cite||178 Cal.App.4th 1366 (2009)|
|Level||State Court of Appeals|