A recent change in California law making certain drug and property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies played “a significant role” in the rising crime rate in Los Angeles County and has taken away the incentive for addicts to seek treatment, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Thursday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, McDonnell also said legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a bad idea and that recent public backlash against police over use of force is having an impact on his agency, the largest sheriff’s department in the country.

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