There is no misinterpretation of what they’ve done here. It is no longer illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution or to solicit money for sex. Like I said, kids in California are now able to legally work as prostitutes.
CBS Sacramento reports that space cadet Governor Jerry Brown signed SB1322 into law on Tuesday. Among other things, this bill exempts minors from the current California prostitution laws. In other words, a person under the age of 18 can no longer be arrested for violating prostitution laws that apply to adults.
I was thinking that maybe the news was reporting this wrong or perhaps they were leaving some stuff out that makes this sound less terrible than it is, but I read the actual wording of the bill and this is what is says:
Existing law makes it a crime to solicit or engage in any act of prostitution. Existing law makes it a crime to loiter in any public place with the intent to commit prostitution. This bill would make the above provisions inapplicable to a child under 18 years of age who is alleged to have engaged in conduct that would, if committed by an adult, violate the above provisions.
If a child or teen can’t be arrested for prostitution, then that means underage prostitution is now legal in the state. I don’t see any other way to look at this insanity. Presumably it is still illegal for an adult to patronize a child prostitute, but from the kids’ perspective it is all good. Also presumably, a person under the age of 18 could pay to have sex with another person under the age of 18 and that would be completely legal in the Golden State.