Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 1449 - the bill to reduce the penalties for possession of an ounce or less of pot from a misdemeanor criminal offense to a civil infraction. The civil infraction comes with a $100 fine, but there would be no arrest, court appearances, or criminal record for the accused.
More than 61,000 arrests were made last year in California for misdemeanor possession charges. With this measure the state hopes to realize millions of dollars in savings in court and law enforcement costs. The law takes effect on January 1, 2011.
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