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California Further Decriminalizes Pot

October 2, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22:  Different strains of m...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Saturday, 02 October 2010 16:36
On Friday, outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger signed a bill that fully decriminalizes marijuana in California, reducing what was a misdemeanor to a summons for possession of an ounce or less. “It’s one more small victory,” says Yes on Prop 19 proponent Richard Lee.

Though California is one of 15 states to have decriminalized cannabis, those arrested for possessing less than an ounce were still required to go to court. Now a ticket for possession will be treated the same as a traffic summons.

“What this will do is make sure the money that we have in the Court system is steered toward more serious crimes than a small amount of pot,” say Schwarzenegger’s spokesperson Aaron McLear.

“There is a significant shift occurring,” said State Sen. Mark Leno, who sponsored SB1449. “This bill has been brought to the Legislature at least four times since I’ve been there. The great success this year was because we not only had the defense bar in support but also the California District Attorneys Association and the Judicial Council. Everyone was of the same mind: This should be changed. The ball has moved down the field.”

Lee adds:. “It’s one more thing going our way that shows that what we’re saying is right – it’s a waste of law enforcement time and resources to go after people for cannabis.”

On Nov. 2, California voters can legalize marijuana if they approve Prop 19. Donate to Yes on Prop 19 here.

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