Families of victims who died of fentanyl poisoning after being repeatedly denied by state legislative commissions launched an effort on Tuesday to take their appeal for tighter drug control directly to voters.
Families, with the backing of Rep. Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach), announced they would campaign to put on the ballot a bill that would make it easier to charge recurring fentanyl sellers with murder charges. bottom. A proposed ballot measure, ACA 12, will be introduced Monday through the constitutional amendment process and must be approved by a two-thirds vote of Congress and the Senate.
Dixon and his supporters urged lawmakers to let the people, not politicians, decide the fate of the proposed “Alexandra Act.” The law requires courts to warn defendants convicted of trafficking fentanyl-laced drugs that they could face murder charges if they carry out the law. someone else dies
The court’s warning could be used by prosecutors to show that dealers who sell fentanyl-contaminated drugs are aware of the potential fatal consequences. Victims often don’t know that the drugs they buy are fortified with fentanyl.
The Alexandra Act has been defeated at least four times in three years by Democratic-led public safety committees in both houses of Congress, fearing a return to past overly pervasive drug policies that crowded prisons with people of color. Constitutional amendment is an attempt to circumvent these commissions.
The bill is named after Alexandra Caperto, a 20-year-old college student who died of fentanyl poisoning at her parents’ home in Temecula two days before Christmas 2019.
At a news conference in Sacramento on Tuesday, father Matt Caperuto said it was time to let voters decide how to combat the tens of thousands of deaths each year caused by synthetic opioids 100 and 50 times stronger than morphine. Told. than heroin.
“As some of you know, I do this a lot, and I do it too much,” said Caperto, speaking outside the state capitol looking visibly frustrated. “We shouldn’t have to come here every few months and beg our representatives to do something[about the fentanyl epidemic].”
He added, “This law will ensure that people who commit petty drug crimes will not be stuffed into prisons. … It will deter many drug dealers from continuing their drug trafficking.”
Caperuto’s daughter was found slumped in bed on a makeup mirror after ingesting what was believed to be percocet.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here four years later and nothing has been accomplished,” Capert said on stage. “I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a lost father.”
In addition to Dixon, Rep. Joe Patterson (Rep., Rocklin) and Rep. Juan Alanis (Rep., Modesto) supported the campaign at the press conference. They said they were confident the amendment would get bipartisan approval in both houses. But first the proposal needs to pass through the policy committee.
“This is an opportunity to let voters decide once and for all … this simple, common sense solution,” Dixon said.
The bill is modeled on warning defendants convicted of drunk driving that they could be charged with murder if they did it again and killed someone else.
Some lawmakers fear the proposal will lead to the en masse arrest of many distributors who didn’t know their products contained fentanyl. They also fear that such a bill would increase racial disparities without providing any benefit to public safety.
Patterson disagreed, saying Tuesday that he and the victim’s family would not give up until the Alexandra Act was passed.
“Even if it doesn’t happen this year, I will definitely come back next year,” he vowed. “We come back every year.”
https://www.dailynews.com/2023/06/06/campaign-launched-to-take-proposed-anti-fentanyl-law-directly-to-california-voters/ Campaign Launches to Directly Appeal Proposed Anti-Fentanyl Laws to California Voters – Daily News