California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill making simple marijuana possession an infraction with a $100 fine and no criminal penalties.
“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,” wrote Schwarzenegger, who opposes Proposition 19, the marijuana initiative.
Outstanding. And despite the Governator’s views on Prop 19, this signature provides great momentum for going into the voting booth one month from now and finishing the job.
With the new bill, you take away the jail time for possession â€” the next thing to do is take the control of marijuana away from the black market with all of its destructive elements.
Sure, a spokesperson for No on 19 says “takes away the last reason anyone would have to vote for Prop 19,” which is, of course, ridiculous, but what else is he going to say?
For those idiots who think that this bill is all we need, try giving a call to some friends in New York City. Simple possession is also just a fine there, yet New York City still manages to arrest a whole lot of people for marijuana, and to stop and frisk African-American men at sickening rates.
“Decrim” is not “legal.”
I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and I could be completely wrong. I don’t know all the laws around the world, but…
This could be the first real opportunity to re-legalize cannabis in the entire world. Now that’s something I want to be a part of.
After all, it’s not really legal in Amsterdam. Sure you can posses and buy it, but you can’t legally produce it. The coffee shops have to buy it on the black market.
Even with the stupid federal laws hanging over this enterprise, there will be, with Proposition 19, a legal system of some sort for honest people to produce, sell, purchase, possess, and consume cannabis for recreational purposes.
Where else is this true? (Let me know if you know of a place.)
Is Prop 19 perfect? Of course not.
There’s a lot I’d like to see different in the law. (I imagine if I crafted the law the way I wanted it, the poll numbers would be a lot worse right now.) Down the road, there are things we’ll change. Washington State will pass their own law and it’ll be different, and we’ll look at those differences, and then Massachusetts will pass theirs, etc. Each law will be tweaked and adjusted as reality interacts with it. And drug policy reformers will have to be there to push for the right changes.
In one month, Californians will have an opportunity to vote. With whom will they side?
Seems that the choice is pretty clear. Time to start changing the world.
By the way, for those looking for an opportunity to get active… Just Say Now’s Online Phone Banking for Marijuana Reform.
Just Say Now is proud to announce a new tool to put marijuana reform directly in the hands of activists: online phone banking to identify supporters of marijuana reform before Novemberâ€™s election. There are thousands of voters in Arizona, California, Oregon, and South Dakota who we need to vote for marijuana reforms. Weâ€™re targeting calls to young voters and â€œsurge votersâ€ â€“ people who turned out in 2008 but who are not yet likely to vote in the midterm elections.