California Reduces It's Penalty for Marijuana

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  California Reduces It's Penalty for Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on October 02, 2010 at 08:38:31 PT
By Jesse McKinley 
Source: New York Times  

San Francisco, CA -- A month before California voters decide the fate of a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that essentially puts those caught possessing small amounts of the drug on the same level as those caught speeding on the freeway.The governor — who has come out against the ballot measure, Proposition 19 — cast the new law’s effect as largely administrative, changing the crime of possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction, the lowest level of offense under state law. And like everything else in a state struggling with a $19 billion deficit, money mattered, too.
“The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in a statement that accompanied his signature. “In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.”Under the law, SB 1449, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $100 fine. But offenders would not be arrested or risk having a criminal record, something that drug legalization groups applauded on Friday.Stephen Gutwillig, the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a group based in New York that advocates for drug law reform, said the law could be particularly meaningful for black men, who have been found to be arrested for possession at far higher rates than white men.“It’s important because it ends an epidemic of race-based targeting of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in California,” Mr. Gutwillig said.About a dozen states have softened their stance on marijuana over the years, including Massachusetts, where voters passed a ballot initiative in 2008 that made possession of less than one ounce a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine. (Minors also have to take a drug awareness class.)In his signing statement, Mr. Schwarzenegger was firm in his opposition to Proposition 19, which would legalize, tax and regulate the use of marijuana for those over 21, calling the measure “deeply flawed.”But as is the case with so many other things in California, where the governor’s approval ratings are at rock bottom, many voters might not see things his way. A Field Poll released on Sunday found that 49 percent of voters approved of Proposition 19, with 42 percent against.A version of this article appeared in print on October 2, 2010, on page A9 of the New York edition.Source: New York Times (NY)Author:  Jesse McKinleyPublished: October 2, 2010Copyright: 2010 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #12 posted by Storm Crow on October 04, 2010 at 21:30:54 PT
I'm not thrilled with all of 19....
but it allows EVERYONE to grow (on a limited basis). A 5 x 5 plot is big enough for most users. Medical users will just continue like they have before, with their "cannabis specialist" setting their personal permitted amounts. The freedom to grow is a key point, in my opinion. Unless we are free to grow our own, the cartels, and other shady producers, will continue to milk us dry with their artificially-maintained, high prices! Why would anyone buy, when they can produce their own far cheaper? (My own "very well-lit closet" costs me less than $20 per month for electricity -love those CFLs- and a few bucks more for ferts, but it usually keeps the hubby and myself supplied.) I don't like the extra taxes that they want to attach to sales, but that can be dealt with later. I think cannabis should be treated like St. John's Wort, or any other agricultural product. To me, Prop 19, looks like a "half a loaf", but it will do for now. I think we'll be getting the "rest of the loaf" pretty darn soon! I'm voting for Prop 19. 
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Comment #11 posted by GentleGiant on October 03, 2010 at 06:51:04 PT:
Onward Soldiers!!!
The wall is beginning to crumble, no time to stop now. Keep the tide rolling. Let's stop this insanity and let's bring sanity back to our country. I'm tired of the lies, wasted money, and many people of different walks who lives have been greatly affected by this insanity. Vote 'Yes on Prop 19'. 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 18:14:16 PT
I sure agree with you.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 18:07:57 PT
You're welcome. We aren't ever going back again. 
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on October 02, 2010 at 18:04:27 PT:
Oh, it's a ploy, alright.
And, as is typical with the prohibs, it's as insulting to the intelligence as always. They really do have a very low opinion of the average intelligence of cannabists, thinking it is on the same level as the 'developmentally challenged'.I have to laugh; prohibs can't accept the probability that 'stoners' actually might be smarter than they are...and immediately see through something this transparent.They are not dealing with easily distracted infants; wave something else in a baby's face and they'll relinquish what they're holding and try to grab the distracting object. Pathetic that they should be so crude in trying such a maneuver. Too late; we've been through this so many times...and our patience with such BS is at an end. Our eyes are indeed on the prize, and we know the real thing (legalization) from fool's gold (decrim). If anything, this will insure Prop19 passes, for they've shown weakness by pulling this stunt. This is desperation they're engaging in now. It's time to show them just how little we value their intelligence...what there is of it. Passing 19 would be a bitch-slap in their arrogantly smug faces, one long-deserved and long-delayed.I can't wait for November...
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Comment #7 posted by keninsj on October 02, 2010 at 17:53:10 PT:
I hope your right FoM
I really hope you are right FoM, but I wouldn't put it past them to try to use this in advertising and try to skew the results. Personally I believe it is too late for such a ploy to work though, with just a month to go. I am very optimistic that prop 19 will pass. On a side note, thanks for all the work you do here. I don't participate in discussion that much, but I read daily. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 16:58:04 PT
My opinion is a lot of people don't like the Govenor and they will see through this and Vote for Prop 19.
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Comment #5 posted by keninsj on October 02, 2010 at 16:47:41 PT:
On Topic.
I believe this is a ploy to try and convince people to vote no on prop 19 by saying see now it is basically legal. This law does not allow people to grow there own, and still provides a penalty for usage and possession. We need to pass prop 19 an send a message that we want it legal. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 16:27:19 PT

You're welcome! My has Farm-Aid come far in 25 years. The High Definition quality on our 50 inch Plasma of the concert is out of site. We are recording it to keep too. I love technology. Well I love technology most of the time! LOL! Enjoy! 
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Comment #3 posted by greenmed on October 02, 2010 at 16:12:24 PT

Thanks so much for the reminder. I was wondering just the other day when Farm-Aid would be held this year.Twenty-five years of Farm-Aid -- yeah!!!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 14:12:33 PT

Off Topic: Farm-Aid 25: Today Starting at 6 PM ET
Watch the ConcertIf you're not able to join us at Miller Park in Milwaukee, you can still join in all the excitement of Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America!Watch on TVSee all the action live in HD on DirecTV's The 101 Network beginning at 6pm ET/5pm CT.Watch on YouTubeFarm Aid's YouTube channel will play the webcast this year in high definition. Check it out live starting at 6pm ET/5pm CT!Listen on RadioWillie Nelson's SIRIUS XM music channel, Willie's Place (SIRIUS channel 64 and XM channel 13), will broadcast the concert beginning at 2 pm ET/1pm CT. In addition to the live concert, Willie's Place listeners will hear backstage interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage hosted by SIRIUS XM's Dallas Wayne.YouTube Farm-Aid Channel:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 02, 2010 at 08:42:18 PT

News Article From The Jerusalem Post
Medical Cannabis in Israel: Revolution or Evolution?October 1, 2010URL:
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