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SB 1449

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 1, 2010

    Yesterday, outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1449which reduces adult marijuana possession charges from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. NORML would like to thank the 2,500+ of you who took the time to write the Governor over the past week via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’, and the many more who called the Governor’s office directly in support of this historic measure.

    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 this bill will save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor marijuana offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot arrests has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008.

    The new law, which takes effect on Jan 1, 2011, will have an effect even if Californians vote to legalize marijuana by passing Prop 19. Proposition 19 leaves misdemeanor possession penalties in place for public use and smoking in the presence of children; under SB 1449, these offenses would be simple infractions.

    “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.”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 23, 2010

    Outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has until Thursday, September 30, to decide the fate of Senate Bill 1449which 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.