NORML Action Alert: Schwarzenegger Signs Marijuana Infraction Measure!

Yesterday, outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1449which reduces adult marijuana possession charges from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. NORML would like to thank the 2,500+ of you who took the time to write the Governor over the past week via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’, and the many more who called the Governor’s office directly in support of this historic measure.

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 an infraction, punishable by no more than a $100 fine — no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record.

Passage of this bill will save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor marijuana offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot arrests has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008.

The new law, which takes effect on Jan 1, 2011, will have an effect even if Californians vote to legalize marijuana by passing Prop 19. Proposition 19 leaves misdemeanor possession penalties in place for public use and smoking in the presence of children; under SB 1449, these offenses would be simple infractions.

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

162 thoughts

  1. that law is just a simple quick way of making revenue off the poor before the law i just had to goto class and pay 100 dollars so idk what kinda cloud the govt has put over your eyes but it dosent fool me it should have been legalized and now we all have to pay for have a plant in our pocket good job growers youll keep making millions and users will keep paying out the nose for it…

  2. Hopefully, this will spur more awareness. As more and more laws decriminalize recreational use awareness will grow and continue the springing tide of support over the last decade. With a now Republican congress we have a tough fight on our hands for the next two years at least. They were elected because of their Health Care and Deficit/Spending related views. Sadly this is an issue that has taken a back-burner in the political scene since the Nov. elections, but we need to talk to even the most staunch opponents on this issue. Let them know taxing marijuana can bring in revenues in the form of taxes and reduce spending by reducing prosecution. This can help with the core issues they were elected on.

    I would rather pay a tax and buy legally than going through a local street dealer any day of the week. A $50 an ounce tax would raise $1000+ a year from this tax payer alone.

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