Drug Law

Gov. Schwarzenegger Could Make Pot Possession Civil Infraction

| by NORML

Outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has until Thursday, September 30, to decide the fate of Senate Bill 1449 — which would reduce adult marijuana possession charges from a criminal misdemeanor

to a civil infraction. That gives reformers one final week to lobby for this sensible reform. If you have not yet contacted the Governor in support of this historic legislation, please do so today.

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 bill would save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor marijuana offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot prosecutions has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008. Adults who consume marijuana responsibly are not part of the crime problem, and the state should stop treating them like criminals.

Governor Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has vetoed several different marijuana law reform bills in the past. Therefore, if you live in California, it is vital that you please e-mail or call Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office and urge him to sign SB 1449 into law. For your convenience, a pre-written letter will be e-mailed to the Governor when you visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center here.