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  1. #1
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    Default California Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

    From the Stop the drug war: California Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill | StoptheDrugWar.org

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Thursday signed into law a bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill reduces simple possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction.



    Currently, small-time pot possession is "semi-decriminalized" in California. There is no possible jail sentence and a maximum $100 fine. But because possession is a misdemeanor, people caught with pot are "arrested," even if that means only they are served a notice to appear, and they must appear before a court.

    That has happened to more than a half million Californians in the last decade, and more than 60,000 last year alone. Every one of them required a court appearance, complete with judge and prosecutor. That costs the cash-strapped state money it desperately needs.

    Under the bill signed today, SB 1449, by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), pot possession will be treated like a traffic ticket. The fine will remain at $100, and there will be no arrest record.

    In a signing statement, Schwarzenegger said he opposed decriminalization for personal use—and threw in a gratuitous jab at Proposition 19, the tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative—but that the state couldn't afford the status quo.

    "I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name," said Schwarzenegger. "The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney. 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."

    "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."

    The law goes into effect January 1. Even if Prop 19 passes in November, it leaves in place misdemeanor charges for smoking in public or in the presence of minors. Those misdemeanors would become infractions under the new law.

  2. #2
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Whoah, ballsy!

  3. #3
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Whoah, ballsy!
    Not really. "Ballsy" would involve him giving full support to Proposition 19 which will be on CA's ballot this November. It would make marijuana legal and subject to tax.

    What he is doing now is hedging his bets for a future career in national politics.He can argue this either way, depending on which way the wind blows. If the Proposition 19 passes but proves to be nationally unpopular, he'll say "I was against it" (as he claims to be now), and if it doesn't pass and enrages civil activitists, he can say, "I signed the bill of decriminalization by lowering misdemeanor to an infraction".

    So yeah, you suckers are being played.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  4. #4
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Not really. He's just trying to sidetrack the full legalization that seems immenent with the upcoming vote on Proposition 19.

    Personally, I think its a shitty thing to do. He is trying to preserve his future political career in national politics by avoiding the potential "stigma" of being a Governor under whose reign marijuana was made legal. All this does is delays the inevitable end of the bullshit War on Drugs.

    But what else would you expect from a self serving NTJ political strategist?

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, he can argue this either way, depending on which way the wind blows. If the proposition 19 passes but proves to be nationally unpopular, he'll say "I was against it" (as he claims to be now), and if it doesn't pass and enrages civil activitists, he can say, "I signed the bill of decriminalization by lowering misdemeanor to an infraction". Well played, Arnold
    Yes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fan.of.Devin's Avatar
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    I don't think he had sinister intentions with this.
    He's proven in the past that he's not afraid to give the metaphorical middle finger to the Republican base when it most counts.

    Bravo, California, keep leading the way!
    Hope the regulatory legislation passes next.
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  6. #6
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fan.of.Devin View Post
    I don't think he had sinister intentions with this.
    He's proven in the past that he's not afraid to give the metaphorical middle finger to the Republican base when it most counts.
    Lol, no. Arnold only gives the finger to the people who are of no use to him. He's still a Republican politician - watch him become more "conservative" once his governor term expires and he enters the national stage.

    Bravo, California, keep leading the way!
    Hope the regulatory legislation passes next.
    Prop 19 will most likely pass, unless the Mormon posse comes out in droves. But I don't think its as important to them as Prop 8 was in 2008.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    This seems like a good way to go about decriminalization without undermining the rule of law; I hope proposition 19 passes.

  8. #8
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    This seems like a good way to go about decriminalization without undermining the rule of law
    How so?

    If Prop 19 passes, it will become law whether or not this bill was signed by Arnold or not.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  9. #9
    morose bourgeoisie
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    One ounce is a lot of weed.

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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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