The DeMaio Report with Carl DeMaio

The DeMaio Report with Carl DeMaio

The DeMaio Report offers candid discussion on the latest in local and national political headlines, policies and reform. The show also features input...Read More


California’s Next Crisis is Here: Deaths from Drug Overdoses

California’s drug overdoses have nearly doubled in a 7 year period — and opponents point to liberal drug and crime policies as the cause.

Soaring home prices, record gas prices, surging crime, skyrocketing homelessness - the list goes on and on. California is headed in the wrong direction on almost every issue - and several issues are now at a crisis point.  

Now drug overdose deaths can be added to the list of issues in California that have reached a crisis point, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In fact, California’s drug overdose mortality rate has nearly doubled since 2014! 

In 2014, the number of deaths per 100,000 total population was 11.1. In 2020, that number was 21.8. Another way to look at this is that there were 4,521 total drug overdose deaths in California in 2014, and 8,908 in 2020.

Of the 7 year period from 2014 through 2020, California had the most drug overdose deaths of any state 5 out of the 7 years.

Between 2017 and 2020 the number of opioid overdose deaths tripled in California.

Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, says the data reflects California Democrats’ poor leadership of the state and the growing network of drug dealers in our communities.

“Under Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, and the Democrat supermajority in the State Legislature, the drug problem in our state has skyrocketed and it only continues to go up,” said DeMaio. 

“It’s tragic and we need to crack down on these lethal drugs and get addicts the help that they need that could save their life — but instead Newsom, the California Democrats, and progressive District Attorneys across the state are letting criminals out of prison and doing little to stop the drugs freely flowing through our communities,” he continued.

DeMaio points to the CDC data on record for the remaining years covered — 2005 and 1999, which reflect a lower drug overdose mortality rate of 9 and 8.1 respectively — years DeMaio says enjoyed periods of Republican policies from Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

“We used to advocate for common-sense tough-on-crime measures that kept our communities safe — and our children alive and free from overdose,” said DeMaio. “But under Democratic leadership in the last 12 years, that’s all changed,” he continued.

DeMaio points to Newsom’s actions that have released drug dealers from prison, lowered drug felonies to simple misdemeanors, and used taxpayer funds to promote drug use (e.g. taxpayer funded needles, drug kits, etc.) 

Newsom famously pushed for Prop 57 which allowed for the early release of prisoners - and prioritized the early release of individuals who were serving time for drug crimes.  

Newsom also supported Propositions 47 which tied the hands of law enforcement and reduced penalties for criminals relating to drug crimes. 

“Many of these individuals were in prison because of various drug trafficking crimes and now that they are released early and back on the streets, it is no surprise that they have returned to drug dealing and are being able to sell drugs without concern of being prosecuted,” DeMaio notes.

Worse, Governor Newsom has been a proponent of “safe consumption sites,” which allow addicts to “safely” inject illegal substances. He also approved the creation of syringe service programs to provide clean syringes for drug users. 

Drug use is rampant in California’s homeless population and the rise in homeless corresponds to the decision by Democrats to give up on the war on drugs. For example, Newsom prohibits homeless service providers from requiring drug tests and sobriety programs in return for public assistance.

“These changes in policy are ridiculous and clearly encourage and incentivize drug use — and we can see it clearly in the numbers that these fatal overdoses are ticking up as more and more liberal crime and drug policies are implemented by Newsom and the Democrat supermajority in Sacramento,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio also points to a lack of focus. While Democrats fixate on passing virtue-signaling gun control laws, firearm deaths have actually steadily decreased in the state since 2000. Yet while drug deaths skyrocket in California, Democrats are actually passing laws to make the situation worse.

DeMaio says one of the best ways to combat these policies is to elect reform-minded candidates in November that will work to clean up our streets and communities. In addition to electing better candidates, DeMaio is working on other changes at the ballot box, including several future initiatives that could help restore public safety. Join the campaign today to make California safe again.

Join the Fight: Restore Public Safety

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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