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In California Come January, An Ounce Or Less Means No Criminal Record.


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Come January 2011, an 'ounce or less' in California will be only 'an infraction' of the law, meaning you pay a small fine with NO criminal record.


Makes sense to me.


Daily Headlines




(Source:Imperial Valley Press)

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US CA: Appeals Court Lets Pot Dispensary Stay Open


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28 Dec 2010

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The majority of area residents interviewed Monday support lessened criminal penalties for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.


The new law, SB1449, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, takes effect beginning in January along with numerous other legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.


For possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana the law changes from a misdemeanor to an infraction. That means offenders will no longer face arrest, a criminal record and having to appear in court. The maximum penalty of a $100 fine and no jail time remains the same as before.


Frankie Lara, owner of Twilight, the Main Street record and poster store, said, the new law is all the best things a person could ask for. A lot of people use marijuana recreationally, he said. They are not bad people but just like people who drink alcohol on the weekends, he noted.


"I've seen it for 15 years. They're not smoking it in front of kids or at work," he said. "This frees up the criminal justice system to prosecute more violent crimes."


Lara also said the law will drive down the price of marijuana and the proposal has already influenced medical marijuana dispensaries to lower their prices.


But that feeling was not unanimous. At Valley Plaza some held a dissenting opinion. Shawn McNeil, an Imperial Valley College student, feels marijuana possession should remain a misdemeanor because it can be harmful when people use it while driving.


"Even though pot is not as dangerous as methamphetamine it's dangerous," McNeil said. "I've seen with my own eyes what other people under the influence of pot have done to others."


Eric Breitigam, an administrative assistant with Naval Air Facility El Centro, despite supporting the national laws on marijuana, said the new state law is a good idea.


"It won't hold up the courts for such a small amount. It's illegal and people shouldn't have it but some people will get their hands on it anyway," he said. "For that amount people are not selling it and it is just for their own consumption."


Carolina Ochoa, another IVC student, called the new law really reasonable.


She said there is no point to send marijuana users to jail for a couple of years.


"They should save the space for rapists," Ochoa said. "They're the ones who deserve it. "They say the jails are packed. And that's because of the pot smokers. But if you didn't send them to jail, then they wouldn't be so overcrowded."



powered.pngMAP posted-by: Richard Lake





Share This Article delicious.gif digg.gif stumble.gif facebook.gif twitter.gif Pubdate: Tue, 28 Dec 2010

Source: Imperial Valley Press (CA)

Copyright: 2010 Imperial Valley Press

Contact: editor@ivpressonline.com

Website: http://www.ivpressonline.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1877





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