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Schwarzenegger signs California marijuana decriminalization bill…

6:00 pm - 10/01/2010
Schwarzenegger signs California marijuana decriminalization bill

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Friday morning that decriminalizes possession of marijuana in the state.

Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will still receive a maximum penalty of $100. However, Senate Bill 1449 reduces the legal categorization of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This means that those caught will not have to appear in court, pay court fees or receive a criminal record.

Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, a pending referendum that will provide a legal framework for the sale, cultivation and taxation of marijuana. However, despite this opposition, Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law. In a letter to the California Senate, Schwarzenegger stated that "less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney." He further stated that "In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket."

California director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Dale Gieringer lauded the governor's decision:

“Gov. Schwarzenegger deserves credit for sparing the state’s taxpayers the cost of prosecuting minor pot offenders, Californians increasingly recognize that the war on marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources.”

The new law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.


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schexyschteve 2nd-Oct-2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Awesome! Way to go, California!
dragoon1940 2nd-Oct-2010 01:36 am (UTC)
eveofrevolution 2nd-Oct-2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Four for you Ah-nold Coco, you go Ah-nold Coco!
thequenchyest 2nd-Oct-2010 02:17 am (UTC)
freebacon 2nd-Oct-2010 01:39 am (UTC)
and then everyone moved to california
ferlingmule 2nd-Oct-2010 05:25 am (UTC)
We still have to vote on it this Nov and see if it gets legalized! THEN decide if you want to move here!

Also, there's still that Prop8 bullshit (where it got voted for) so we are far from perfect.
unholygrace 2nd-Oct-2010 01:40 am (UTC)
*texts sister* Someone's gonna be happy tonight, especially considering she was planning on moving someday...
erunamiryene 2nd-Oct-2010 01:40 am (UTC)
Still not enough for me to put up with living in California, but that's awesome! :D
squee4242 2nd-Oct-2010 01:46 am (UTC)
fishnet_hamster 2nd-Oct-2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Awesome! Even my straight-edge self approves!
stereosymbiosis 2nd-Oct-2010 02:02 am (UTC)
I still don't know how I feel about this...
filbypott 2nd-Oct-2010 02:10 am (UTC)

Question: I know a lot of stoners/potheads who are convinced that legalizing pot will instantly fix the economy. I'm for legalizing pot (though I never touch it; I think it reeks), but that sounds like bullshit to me. Thoughts?
thenakedcat 2nd-Oct-2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Legalization would provide a new potential stream of sales revenue for the government to tax, but it's not a cure-all for the economy. I think the reduction in trafficking-related violence is a much better argument for legalization.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
lykomancer 2nd-Oct-2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Hell yeah!
thevelvetsun 2nd-Oct-2010 02:43 am (UTC)
Awesome! I've never used weed and I don't plan to, but I fully support legalization. This is definitely a positive step. :)
chipuni 2nd-Oct-2010 03:29 am (UTC)
You're in the same camp as me.

Haven't used weed. Don't plan to. But I don't mind others smoking it, as long as they don't drive under its influence.
mswyrr 2nd-Oct-2010 02:46 am (UTC)
...but marijuana possession is still a federal crime, right?


I'm confused.

ytterbius 2nd-Oct-2010 02:49 am (UTC)
It's true. So yes, if you get busted by a Fed you could still be in bigger trouble, but they hardly have the resources to be much threat.
ytterbius 2nd-Oct-2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Love the soundtrack. Entirely appropriate!
lickety_split 2nd-Oct-2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Where are all the stoners at???

EDIT: Wait, probably getting high. Nevermind.

Edited at 2010-10-02 03:16 am (UTC)
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