Proposition 5 Controversy

Fresno, CA Tina shows Action News something special, "These are A.A. chips. This is one month, two month. I am going on my third month." Tina is an alcohol addict, sober for 78 days. She did not want her face on TV. Tina attends one of the many local drug treatment facilities.

Proposition 5 will give $460-million annually to expand treatment programs. It will also limit a judge's ability to incarcerate certain drug offenders and reduces penalties for marijuana possession-making it a low level infraction.

Fresno's Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "Proposition 5 has good intentions but it goes about it the wrong way." Dyer opposes the measure, putting him at odds with people like Michael Alsup. Alsup operates a local narcotic treatment clinic. Alsup said referring to Dyer's position, "Most folks that seem to have that perception haven't been effected personally, a child, a parent or a sister or a parent who has been addicted …then they've seen the need for treatment." Dyer's main concern is Prop 5 is too lenient, allowing drug offenders to mess up too many times. Dyer said, "They need the threat of incarceration if they fail treatment or fail to go to treatment. This does not do that. In fact it ties the hands of judges and prevents judges from even incarcerating these individuals."

Not all drug counselors support the proposition. But for Tina, a repeat DUI offender, more money means more treatment. Tina said, "It's better than incarcerating people when they really need is help, because they are just going to come out and do it again."


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