A judge has temporarily blocked sweeping changes to the California’s landmark treatment program for drug offenders signed, reports the Los Angeles Times. The new law adds tough provisions to Proposition 36, which gives tens of thousands of drug offenders the option of entering treatment facilities instead of going to jail. Changes backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would allow judges to incarcerate offenders who relapse for up to five days. Drug treatment advocates say the measure is illegal because it would change an initiative approved by voters without their consent. Proposition 36 was passed in 2000.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith said the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance and the California Society of Addiction Medicine, “have a substantial likelihood of success” of overturning the new law in court. Daniel Abrahamson of the alliance said: “Proposition 36 is very clear that people are supposed to receive treatment, not incarceration.”