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OfflineShaggy420
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US: California: cannabis possession now a civil infraction
    #484327 - 10/02/10 09:58 AM (6 years, 2 months ago)

Punto Digital


Saturday 02 Oct 2010


Possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana is now considered an offense similar to leaving your car badly parked, these changes are thanks to state governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed a law previously approved by the State Congress in California.

At face value the change does not seem that important and has economical and procedural implications.

Under the previous State laws possessing that quantity of drug was considered a minor crime that did not include prison, but did include formal process in court that could end, at most, in a fine of up to $100 dollars.

While the $100 fine will still apply, the defendant will not have to attend court nor pay the costs of prosecution.

"I signed this law because marijuana possession is an offense in all but name. The only difference is that by being classified as a crime, the defendant requires a jury trial and a defense attorney. In times of drastic budget cuts the State can not afford to spend all those resources on attorneys, police and courts to punish a crime with a penalty equivalent to a traffic violation," said the governor.

Experts believe that with this measure, the state will save hundreds of thousand dollars, because this offense in California generates more than 61,000 cases a year that have then to go through the judicial system.

Although the change does seems small, it has great significance because it makes California the first state to decriminalize the possession of the drug.

In the U.S. several states, including California, have decriminalized the possession of marihuana only for medicinal purposes. At the federal level, however, consumption, production and possession of this drug, including medicinal, still remains a crime.

The issue becomes very relevant considering that next month Californians go to the polls to decide on the controversial Proposition 19, that is rejected by Schwarzenegger, the bulk of the Republican establishment and Barack Obama’s administration. The bill would eliminate any penalty on possession as well as the production of cannabis. Something that in practice is equivalent to legalizing it.

The initiative's background is that the state and cities can then start collecting taxes from sale and production of a drug that currently generates, despite being illegal, 14 billion dollars in sales annually.

Legalization, say proponents, would add about $1,500 million dollars in taxes for a state already in deficit, including savings that would come from not prosecuting and jailing traffickers and consumers.

http://puntodigital.com/california-cannabis-possession-civil-infraction/224037/


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Offlinetrichome
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Re: US: California: cannabis possession now a civil infraction [Re: Shaggy420]
    #484598 - 10/03/10 12:12 PM (6 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:


The initiative's background is that the state and cities can then start collecting taxes from sale and production of a drug that currently generates, despite being illegal, 14 billion dollars in sales annually.

Legalization, say proponents, would add about $1,500 million dollars in taxes for a state already in deficit, including savings that would come from not prosecuting and jailing traffickers and consumers.





14 billion reasons to legalize, or $14,000 million dollars, in case the author is reading this...


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