Martin Sheen, the politically liberal actor who advocates a tough-love approach to drug addiction, is teaming up with California law-and-order groups to lead the charge against an initiative that would increase funding for rehabilitation programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. The No on Proposition 5 Campaign say the initiative is too soft on addicts because it would expand the pool of offenders who could be diverted from serving jail or prison time by undergoing treatment. Sheen, in describing his battles with alcoholism and efforts to help his son, actor Charlie Sheen, to stop abusing drugs, has said the threat of jail time by a judge is needed to force addicts to commit to recovery.
Eight years ago, Martin Sheen opposed Proposition 36, a precursor to the November initiative that was approved by 61 percent of voters, creating programs to divert offenders from incarceration into treatment. Margaret Dooley-Sammuli of the Yes on Proposition 5 campaign, said “Last I checked, he was an actor, not a policy expert, and I think that although his personal experiences need to be respected, they do not define good policy.” Proposition 5 would allocate $610 million in state funds through mid-2010 and increase funding later to expand treatment opportunities, change the way offenders are diverted into programs and establish a juvenile treatment program.