California reduces pot possession from misdemeanor to infraction

Schwarzenegger signs bill making possession of an ounce no worse than a parking ticket, saying it will save money

Published October 1, 2010 9:39PM (EDT)

Possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California is now no more serious than getting a speeding ticket.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill late Thursday that reduces possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

The maximum punishment is a $100 fine.

Schwarzenegger said after signing Senate Bill 1449 that he does not support the decriminalization of marijuana, but the bill would save the state courts money.

Even as a misdemeanor, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana was still punishable only by a $100 fine and no jail time. But offenders also faced arrest, a possible court appearance and a criminal record.

By Associated Press

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