SACRAMENTO – Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) and members of the California Senate Republican Caucus joined Assembly Republicans along with Assembly and Senate Democrats in co-authoring Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 12 that would ask voters if fentanyl dealers should be made fully aware of the consequences for selling the deadly drug and be held accountable. Specifically, the bipartisan measure requires the courts to advise individuals convicted of fentanyl sales and manufacturing-related offenses that subsequent offenses could result in a charge of voluntary manslaughter or murder.
Once ACA 12 is approved by the Senate and Assembly, voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on this critical issue that is killing nearly 6,000 Californians every year. If the bipartisan ACA 12 goes to the voters, they will have a chance to vote on it during the November 5, 2024 election.
ACA 12 is named after 20-year-old Alexandra Capelouto who died before Christmas in 2019 after taking one counterfeit pill that contained a deadly dose of fentanyl. Senate Bill 44, a bipartisan measure that is named after Alexandra, was introduced earlier this year to hold deadly dealers accountable, but failed twice to pass out of the Senate Public Safety Committee. Alexandra’s father Matt Capelouto has been a vocal advocate on this crisis as he fights for reform.
“Fentanyl is destroying the lives of too many Californians and something must be done. Since this Legislature has failed to act quickly, California Republican lawmakers are asking voters to decide how to tackle the fentanyl crisis. If approved, the bipartisan ACA 12 will help hold repeat, deadly drug dealers accountable and work towards ending the dangerous epidemic,” said Senate Minority Leader Jones.
Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) said, “This measure aims to protect our citizens from the dangers of illicit drugs, specifically highlighting the risks associated with fentanyl. It will ensure that all those involved in drug-related crimes are informed of the potential legal consequences, including the possibility of being charged with homicide if someone dies as a result. By raising awareness and promoting accountability, we can prevent tragedies and prioritize public safety.”
“Inaction is not an option when it comes to addressing the fentanyl crisis,” said Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). “I’m proud to be a co-author of ACA 12 and provide a warning to those predators who are targeting our youth that they should be held responsible if they knowingly sell an illegal drug that includes fentanyl.”
“The fentanyl crisis is one of the leading causes of death for young adults in the United States,” said Shannon Senator Grove (R-Bakersfield). “Yet the majority party refuses to pass meaningful legislation to address this crisis by holding fentanyl dealers accountable, which is why I am supporting ACA 12. Since Sacramento politicians won’t act, let’s put the decision making power in the hands of California voters.”
“Californians are falling victim to drug dealers who prey on the easy access to fentanyl. It is as important as ever that we hold those responsible accountable for the damage they leave in their wake, including potential charges when their actions lead to death. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for our young people, and anything we can do to deter from the rising availability of it to Californians is a worthwhile effort,” said Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta).
“The California legislature’s refusal to hold fentanyl dealers accountable for their deadly actions is frankly a slap in the face to the victims and their families,” said Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “If the legislature won’t act on this critical issue, then it’s time to send it to the people.