California Dems block Alexandra’s Law, drawing accusations that they are sided with drug cartels

Meanwhile, a group of parents who have lost loved ones to the fentanyl crisis are proposing a ballot initiative to hold fentanyl dealers accountable.

Assembly Republicans attempted to force a floor vote for Alexandra’s Law on Wednesday, a Constitutional Amendment that would warn fentanyl dealers that they could be charged with homicide. 

But a majority of Democrats opposed the legislation, once again blocking the effort to hold fentanyl dealers accountable in the Golden State. 


The backstory: Alexandra’s Law was initially proposed as a State Senate Bill but was axed in the Senate Public Safety Committee in April. 

  • Assemblymembers Juan Alanis (R–Modesto), Diane Dixon (R–Newport Beach) and Joe Patterson (R–Rocklin) brought back the proposal as Assembly Constitutional Amendment 12 in July and had plans to force a vote on the Assembly floor on Tuesday. 
  • Alexandra’s law would require judges to issue a warning to convicted fentanyl traffickers that they could be charged with homicide if any future drug deals they make result in someone’s death. 

The big picture: Assembly Republicans motioned Tuesday to withdraw ACA 12 from the Rules Committee in an effort to prevent Democrats from stalling it in the committee process. 

  • The Assembly shot it down on a 45-18 vote, with all 45 votes coming from Democrats. 

What we’re watching: While Alexandra’s Law was defeated by the Assembly, a group of parents who have lost loved ones to fentanyl held a press conference in Sacramento announcing a new statewide initiative to codify Alexandra’s Law. 

  • The Stop Fentanyl Dealers Initiative would also require fentanyl dealers to be sentenced to at least 10-12 years in prison. 
  • Initiative backers need to gather over 600,000 signatures to place it on next year’s ballot. 

What they’re saying: Following the Assembly vote, Republicans released a statement accusing Democrats of once again siding with drug cartels and trafficking by not fighting the fentanyl epidemic and refusing to hold dealers accountable. 

  • “Holding fentanyl dealers accountable for the harm they cause is just common sense – it shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Alanis said in a statement. “We need to put politics aside and work together to fight fentanyl and save lives.”
  • Alexandra’s Law is named after Alexandra Capelouto, who died of fentanyl poisoning in 2019 at the age of 20. Her father Matt Capelouto was one of the parents organizing the Stop Fentanyl Dealers initiative. 
  • “My daughter Alex was killed by a pill containing a lethal dose of fentanyl,” Capelouto said. “Yet there are currently no laws in California to hold a drug dealer accountable for these kinds of deaths. This initiative will change that.” 
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