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New Bill Would Again Make Possession Of Date Rape Drug A Felony

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California voters reduced drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors last fall when they approved Proposition 47. Now, there’s a push to make possessing a date rape drug a felony again.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley wants to give prosecutors the choice of charging date rape drug possession as a misdemeanor or a felony.

“There is no legitimate reason for a person to possess those drugs other than to administer them surreptitiously for the purpose of committing sexual assault crimes,” O'Malley says.

But Prop 47 supporter Natasha Minsker with the ACLU says the majority of people with date rape drugs want to use them on themselves, to get high.

“The voters have said that if you’re simply possessing them – nothing more – simply possessing the drug – that is not enough to carry felony consequences with lengthy prison sentences,” Minsker says.

If approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the measure would go to voters in the fall of 2016.

 crime

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio