One of the markers of the nation's anti-drug frenzy in the 1980s was a sharp increase in civil asset forfeitures, in which law enforcement agencies seize the cash, cars and other property that they claim are used in the commission of crimes. They are able to target and penalize a suspected drug dealer, for example, even when they can't win a criminal conviction.
They would be curbed by SB 443, a bill sponsored in the Legislature by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). It would require the return of property seized even in partnership with a federal agency, unless there is a criminal conviction. And even if there is a conviction, the money would have to be distributed more widely and not be simply divvied up among the cops and prosecutors, the locals and the feds.