The California Governor, Schwarzenegger, who opposes Proposition 19, this morning signed a landmark bill in the state of California which decriminalizes the possession of marijuana. For those wondering, this does not make marijuana possession legal, but it no longer will be a misdemeanor offense. Instead of the mandatory fine of $100 as well as the mandatory appearance in front of a judge, the outcome of being caught with marijuana will now simply be a $100 fine. The new law will be in effect on January 1st and include anyone caught with up to an ounce of marijuana. Basically the possession of the drug is seen no different by California now than speeding is.
Schwarzenegger signed the bill because it will save the state a ton of money since there will no longer need to be a judge and attorneys appointed to each and every one of the misdemeanor offenses involving marijuana possession. Last year alone there were 60,000 Californians caught with the drug, and in the last decade approximately 500,000 offenders.
I am trying not to be cynical here but really isn’t this a ploy to make sure that Proposition 19 which legalizes marijuana on the November ballot will NOT pass? The fact is the medicinal marijuana law is a mockery and the use of marijuana is very common place – like alcohol in California.
I really don’t know how California will EVER solve its numerous problems with more stoned out citizens. But, the current law is really a joke anyway.