Governor Schwarzenegger Lowers Charge for Marijuana Possession

October 1st, 2010

In a recent move from California, where legalization is a huge subject given the upcoming election on Proposition 19, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that would reduce the charge for marijuana possession. Whereas originally such an action would warrant a misdemeanor, it is now being bumped down to a civil infraction.

However, in his actions, Schwarzenegger claimed that doing so was not an expression of support for Proposition 19, which would legalize the growth of marijuana.

He claimed that it was more of a financial concern.

“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,” Schwarzenegger said.

In the current law, having an ounce of marijuana results in a fine of up to $100, but no jail time. A major difference, is that originally, a defendant would be allowed to a trial by jury and an attorney. By demoting possession to an infraction, this will no longer be allowed.

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