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Proposition 36


A "yes" vote

Supports making changes to Proposition 47 approved in 2014, including:

  • classifying certain drug offenses as treatment-mandated felonies;
  • increasing penalties for certain drug crimes by increasing sentence lengths and level of crime;
  • requiring courts to warn individuals convicted of distributing illegal drugs of their potential future criminal liability if they distribute deadly drugs like fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine; and
  • increasing sentences for theft based on the value of the property stolen.
  • A "no" vote

    Opposes this initiative that makes changes to Proposition 47 (2014), thereby maintaining certain drug and theft crimes as misdemeanors.


  • Allows felony charges for possessing certain drugs, including fentanyl, and for thefts under $950—both currently chargeable only as misdemeanors—with two prior drug or two prior theft convictions, as applicable. Defendants who plead guilty to felony drug possession and complete treatment can have charges dismissed.
  • Increases sentences for other specified drug and theft crimes.
  • Increased prison sentences may reduce savings that currently fund mental health and drug treatment programs, K-12 schools, and crime victims; any remaining savings may be used for new felony treatment program.
  • Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state criminal justice system costs potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, primarily due to an increase in the state prison population. Some of these costs could be offset by reductions in state spending on local mental health and substance use services, truancy and dropout prevention, and victim services due to requirements in current law. Increased local criminal justice system costs potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually, primarily due to increased court-related workload and a net increase in the number of people in county jail and under county community supervision.