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California Online Voter Guide

November 2008 General Election
17th edition

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Proposition 5 - Nonviolent Drug Offenses. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation. Failed

Initiative Statute


What a Yes or No Vote Means

YES: A “YES” vote on this measure means: Drug treatment diversion programs available primarily for persons charged or convicted for a nonviolent drug possession crime would be expanded. Some parole violators would be diverted from state prison and parole terms would be reduced for others. New rehabilitation programs would be expanded for offenders before and after they leave prison. Some inmates might receive additional credits to reduce the time they stay in state prison. Possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana would have a lesser penalty than under current law.

NO: A “NO” vote on this measure means: State and local governments would determine whether to expand existing drug treatment diversion programs in the future. State correctional officials would continue to have the discretion to return various categories of parole violators to state prison, and parole terms would remain at three years for most parolees. The state would not be obligated to further expand rehabilitation programs for inmates, parolees, and other offenders. The current rules for awarding credits to inmates to reduce their time in prison would continue. The penalty for possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana would remain unchanged.

Full Text of Proposition 5 - (PDF)

Official Campaign Web Sites and Contact Information


Who Signed the Ballot Arguments

News Articles

CVF's News Stories section provides California voters with convenient access to a sampling of news articles that give an overview of the potential impact of the propositions on the ballot.

Follow the Money

Proposition 5
Campaign Finances through October 18, 2008




Total Raised



Top Donors





Bob Wilson, Retired
[Brooklyn, NY]


California Correctional Peace Officers Association
[West Sacramento, CA]


George Soros, Investor
[New York, NY]


Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
[El Cajon, CA]


John Sperling, Chairman,
The Apollo Group
[Phoenix, AZ]


California Narcotics Officers’ Association
[Santa Clarita, CA]


Jacob D. Goldfield, Investor
[New York, NY]


Pala Band of Mission Indians
[Pala, CA],

Peace Officers Research Association of California
[Sacramento, CA],


Center for Policy Reform
(Drug Policy Alliance Network)
[New York, NY]


Detailed information about all contributors for and against Proposition 5 is available from campaign finance reports at Cal-Access, the Secretary of State's campaign disclosure web site. To view the most recent contributions, select a committee and click "Late and $5000+ Contributions Received".



This page was first published on September 27, 2008 | Last updated on December 21, 2008
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