NORML Action Alert: Urge California’s Gov. Schwarzenegger To Sign Marijuana Infraction Measure

On Monday, members of the California Assembly approved Senate Bill 1449, which reduces adult marijuana possession offenses in California from a criminal misdemeanor to an infraction, by a vote of 43 to 33.

The vote split largely along party lines, with Democrats voting 40 to 8 in favor of more lenient penalties and Republicans voting 2 to 23 against. Senate lawmakers had previously approved the measure in June by a vote of 21 to 13.

The marijuana infraction bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for his approval.

Under present law, minor marijuana possession for non-medical purposes is classified as a criminal misdemeanor. While the offense is not punishable by jail time, defendants charged under the law must appear in court, pay court costs, and attend a court-ordered diversion program. Offenders who refuse to attend the program may retain a criminal record for up to two years.

Senate Bill 1449 amends the California Health and Safety Code so that the adult possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana is classified as a noncriminal infraction, punishable by no more than a $100 fine — no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record.

Passage of bill would save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor pot offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot arrests has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008, the highest level since the state partially decriminalized pot possession in 1976.

Adults who consume marijuana responsibly are not part of the crime problem, and the state should stop treating them like criminals

Governor Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has vetoed several different marijuana law reform bills in the past. Therefore, if you live in California, it is vital that you please e-mail or call Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and urge him to sign SB 1449 into law. For your convenience, a pre-written letter will be e-mailed to the Governor when you visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center here.

56 thoughts

  1. I live in south carolina, i smoke weed as much as i can. I’ve recently broken my thumb and to be honest with everyone marijuana helps with my pain much, much more than any opiate my doctor prescribes me. i know i live in a bible state and i’ll probably be one of the last to see this plant legal in my state, but i’ve been following prop 19 ever since it was started. i highly support it and i would love to see it made legal november 2nd. GO CALIFORIA! YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT!! SET AN EXAMPLE FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY TO SEE!

  2. come on guy november is coming fast i have read prop. 19 and its all smoke and nonsense. its not hard to revise and make sure that are state makes money on are taxs. we should support are police and fund them with what ever the police need. the police department is hurting and planning to do layoffs this month. lets stop the layoff for them and fund them. the see the dispensaries make hundred of thousands of dollars. thats not right for being nonprofit.we have a chance of a life time and we are just pissing it away. with a prop that is not fully finshed

  3. @aldud are you illiterate??? if you ‘read it’, you obviously failed to comprehend prop 19.

    it controls something that is currently out of control.

    you fail- The dispensarys deserve all the money they can get. it is a science.

    MOST cops deserve to lose their jobs today. They should stop inducing FEAR into people. NOBODY likes cops who hate freedom so don’t be ignorant and ask anyone of us to support them. they are the very thin threatening to destroy our entire lives over NOTHING.

    COPS should be friends of harmless people. But as smokers of a plant that harms NO BODY – we’re all are treated like criminals by racist federal government.
    SCREW The cops who are nothing but a gang.

    IF You were a REAL Police man, you would Join LEAP and vote YES ON PROP 19 – SAVE THE WORLD

  4. Arnold actually signed it in, but my question is, do they still take the pot, or destroy it?

    [Russ responds: Yes. Marijuana is illegal after all.]

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