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Proposition 47 makes drug possession, theft misdemeanors

EUREKA- Non-serious, non-violent crimes like petty theft and drug possession will now be charged as misdemeanors instead of felonies.

On Tuesday voters passed into law Proposition 47, or the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The new law makes possession of drugs like heroin and methamphetamine misdemeanor offenses. As part of the new law, theft of property worth up to $950 is also a misdemeanor, including theft of a firearm. In addition, the law authorizes re-sentencing for anyone who is serving a felony sentence for those offenses. Because of this, up to 10,000 California inmates will have their sentence reconsidered.

According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the law could unravel years of drug enforcement work, but its exact consequences are still unknown.

“Hopefully we'll be able to incarcerate those who truly need to be incarcerated because I think there will be some people that could possibly fall through the cracks so to speak with this proposition,” said Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey. “But again, it was passed by the voters, by a wide margin I believe and we will deal with it as it becomes more and more apparent.”