California: Marijuana Infraction Measure Now State Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 3, 2011

    It’s official. The possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for non-medical purposes is no longer a criminal offense in the state of California.

    As of January 1, 2011, Senate Bill 1449 is law. Signed by outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October, SB 1449 amends the California Health and Safety Code so that the adult possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana is reclassified from a criminal misdemeanor to an infraction, punishable by no more than a $100 fine — no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record. The Governor’s decision to sign the bill was no doubt influenced by the 2,500+ NORML supporters who contacted Schwarzenegger’s office in the final days of the 2010 legislative session and urged his support for the law change.

    The enactment of the law will spare tens of thousands of Californians from criminal prosecution, and will save the state tens of millions in court costs. California’s new law is similar to existing laws in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York where private, non-medical possession of marijuana is treated as a civil, non-criminal offense.

    You can read more about California’s newly enacted law here.

    63 responses to “California: Marijuana Infraction Measure Now State Law”

    1. It was a $5 fine at the hash bash in Ann Arbor in the 70’s. We need to get back to that.

    2. It was a $5 fine in Ann Arbor MI during the Hash Bash in the 70’s. We need to get back to that. Free the weed, it is natural and doesn’t cause aggressive behavior.

    3. Sean says:

      Can’t wait to see more legislation like this popping up in other states! Rock on, Cali!

    4. Dan says:

      Can you guys do Illinois next plwase. Our Governor is a real closed door though. Peace

    5. marc says:

      Well, isn’t that nice…

    6. Dave says:

      You have the bill number wrong in the post. It’s SB 1449 not 1499

    7. John Aston says:

      Adiction treatment admissions should now drop like a rock!

    8. Don says:

      God only knows that I wish Virginia would get it’s act together and follow suit, but here in big tobacco country I’m not hopeful… More likely is that I’m going to move to California in the next couple of years to be with people that are more like me!

      [Paul Armentano responds: There is legislation in Virginia to be reintroduced in 2011 to eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana possession. It’s House Bill 1443. Please visit here: http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=20808521, join VA NORML, and become involved.]

    9. Jim says:

      They did this in the city of Philadelphia awhile back too.

    10. Perry says:

      How will people with possession already charged to their records fare? Will previous violations be expunged? (they should be!!)