In August, we wrote about President Trump's promise to declare a national emergency to combat the opioid crisis. And we wondered whether we'd attack the opioids or the people, in the "war on drugs" sense: Will the government lock people away for drug use or will it go after the root causes of opioid addiction and deaths from overdose?
"[W]hy are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It's not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs - but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs."
Heroin possession is now a misdemeanor and no longer a felony, but it does potentially carry up to a year in jail, $1000 fine and registration as a narcotics offender with local police where you live. Fortunately, the legislature has provided treatment options in many cases in lieu of punitive sanctions. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs there is and one of the most difficult to remain clean from. Heroin addiction left untreated will most certainly ruin a persons life, their families lives and ultimately result in an early death. The good news is there are options and medications which can help someone detox off opiates, the problem is staying clean. The underlying issues that lead to addiction need to be addressed. If someone does not have the desire to quit and is only doing it to avoid jail, then the prognosis is not good. Heroin possession becomes much more serious if possession for sale or sale is involved
There is a way to avoid convictions on drug charges in Vista Courts depending on a number of factors. If the person charged with drug charges in Vista Courts is charged only with possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use or under the influence of drugs, they may be eligible for "diversion". This alternative to conviction requires generally no prior diversions or drug record. The rules are a little more complicated and are outlined in California Penal Code 1000.