Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill to lessen some drug charges

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Saturday that would have given county prosecutors the option of charging lower-level, nonviolent drug offenses as misdemeanors instead of felonies.

In his veto message, Brown wrote there are other efforts underway to examine how California sentences drug offenders. He said that the legislation, which would have made possession of heroin or cocaine a misdemeanor, was not the right way to go.

The sponsor of SB467, Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, has said the flexibility granted by his bill would reduce incarceration costs.

Anyone involved in selling or manufacturing drugs would not have been eligible for the lesser charges.

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