On Wednesday California Senate Republicans, led by Senator Melissa Melendez (Lake Elsinore), put forward an amendment to Assembly Bill 2195 to include “Alexandra’s Law,” which would notify convicted drug dealers that should they be convicted again and kill someone, prosecutors may charge them with manslaughter or murder.
The effort was rejected by Senate Democrats in a 30-10 vote.
“These drug dealers are poisoning our children,” Senator Melendez said, while pleading to the Senate to support this motion. “We have people who are dying from fentanyl poisoning never to see their families again. I have tried to get this passed three separate times with no success and I don’t know how much longer we have to wait until we actually do something about this.”
Fentanyl is an immensely powerful synthetic opioid, which according to the California Department of Public Health, is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, criminal drug networks are mass-producing fake pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription pills to deceive the American public.
Consumers concerned about possible “fake: pills can visit: One Pill Can Kill (dea.gov)
AB 2195 was introduced in February by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) ,which aims to amend the penal code to creative an alternative plea for those charged with drug offenses to a charge of public nuisance. The bill is called the Alternative Plea Act, could make drug dealing a “nuisance” crime.
According to the Fact Sheet:
AB 2195 will protect Californians from the lasting collateral consequences of drug convictions by providing prosecutors with the discretion to offer an alternative plea. The bill allows for an individual facing possible drug conviction to plead to a subdivision of public nuisance as a felony, misdemeanor or infraction, as a substitute for the same-level drug charge. The defense must ask for, and the prosecutor will have the discretion to agree to this alternative charge in lieu of a controlled substance offense.
A look at the Bill:
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 372.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
(a) Notwithstanding Section 372, if a defendant is sentenced for a violation of Section 370 based on a disposition negotiated between the defendant and the prosecution, or pursuant to an indicated sentence of the court, a term of which includes the dismissal of one or more infraction charges that allege unlawfully cultivating, manufacturing, transporting, giving away, or selling a drug, or offering to transport, give away, or sell a drug, unlawful use of a drug, or unlawful possession or use of a drug or drug paraphernalia, public nuisance is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.