With the vote on legalizing marijuana in California only a month and a half away, the state has also officially decriminalized it. Late yesterday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill effectively making possession of up to an ounce of the drug equal to speeding. With this news, opponents of staunch drug laws are now holding their breath, wondering what’s next.
From the Associated Press:
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law late Thursday that reduces possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction, with a maximum punishment of a $100 fine.
Even as a misdemeanor, possession of up to an ounce of pot was still punishable only by a $100 fine and no jail time. But offenders also faced arrest, a possible court appearance and a criminal record.”
Like Proposition 19, which could tear down the rest of the walls around marijuana in the Golden State come November, this move has less to do with the drug and more to do with the money it could make (or, in this case, save) California. Schwarzenegger, himself, said that he didn’t support decriminalization but recognized that officers and courts can’t afford to “expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.”
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org