Santa Barbara News-Press — Making drug diversion work:
California voters made a clear statement in November when they approved Proposition 36, the purpose of which is to divert drug users who are guilty of no other crime to treatment centers rather than to prison. The devil, as they say, is in the details. The main problem is that the strongest opposition to Prop. 36 came from the government agencies that are most directly involved in the drug-abuse issue — law enforcement and criminal justice.
Officials of those branches of government see the implementation of Prop. 36 as a potential threat to their operations, or that it will tie their hands when dealing with drug-using criminals.
… (P)roper implementation is not only the will of voters, but will in the end benefit most Californians. A direct and almost immediate benefit will be putting drug abusers in treatment programs that generally cost about one-fourth of what incarceration costs. Taxpayers should appreciate that.