Marijuana Laws Softened in California

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger approves downgrading possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Citing budget limitations imposed on police and the courts Governor Schwarzenegger (I still have trouble putting Governor and Schwarzenegger in the same sentence) has approved legislation that downgrades simple possession of marijuana to the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

Simple possession is no longer a crime and will not result in a criminal record in California.  Cultivation and distribution of marijuana remain on the books as criminal offences.

In November Californians will vote on Proposition 19 which if approved would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Downgrading possession of an ounce or less to an infraction may result in erosion of support for Proposition 19 now that simple possession is no longer a crime.