facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Calif. reduces pot possession penalty

Oct. 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM   |   Comments

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill reducing penalties for possession of marijuana, saying it will help conserve "limited" court resources.

Schwarzenegger, who opposes a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational use of marijuana, signed SB 1449 Thursday. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the law reclassifies possession of an ounce or less of pot from a misdemeanor to an infraction, with violators subject to fines of as much as $100 but no jail sentences.

"Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name," Schwarzenegger said. "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."

Randy Thomasson, president of saveCalifornia.com, told the Los Angeles Times the new law "invites youth to become addicted to mind-altering pot because there's not much hassle and no public stigma and no rehab if they're caught."

Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, which supports legalization of marijuana use and possession, said "Californians increasingly recognize that the war on marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Iranian woman accused of killing attempted rapist executed Iranian woman accused of killing attempted rapist executed
2
Terry Keenan, former CNN, Fox News anchor, dead at 53 Terry Keenan, former CNN, Fox News anchor, dead at 53
3
California Marine dies in Islamic State mission in Iraq California Marine dies in Islamic State mission in Iraq
4
California officer allegedly stole nude photos during arrest California officer allegedly stole nude photos during arrest
5
Woman pleads not guilty to rape of Seattle man Woman pleads not guilty to rape of Seattle man
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback