What does decriminalization of marijuana mean in California? 6 Answers as of November 04, 2010

Marijuana has certainly been within the public discourse recently here in California. The failure of Proposition 19 has led me evaluate the status quo regarding marijuana laws in our state. What does the recent marijuana decriminalization bill signed by Governor Schwarzenegger mean for those in possession of marijuana? Do counties and cities still possess the power to enact their own marijuana criminalization laws similar to the regulation of medical marijuana? The laws seem rather muddled and the system for attaining medical marijuana seems to be a mess.

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Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
Possession of marijuana is still a crime, but it is frequently ignored by police as a petty crime.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Decriminalization may mean different things. For the purpose of the new legislation reducing marijuana possession to an infraction, it clarifies that no arrest for less than one ounce is permitted and the fact that it does not have to be reported as a misdemeanor conviction on job applications etc. The downside is that one is no longer eligible for a jury trial if given a citation and marijuana convictions can no longer be "expunged"pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
It was not decriminalized. CA created the PC fiction of a medical marijuana card and recent law that allows possession of small amount, and [theoretically] growing of enough for that use. Other than that, possession, transporting and growing will land you behind bars. Also, keep in mind that federal drug laws do NOT recognize or honor the CA card fiction. If you get busted by DEA, you are facing mandatory federal prison time.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
Notwithstanding what happened with Prop 19, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that makes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana an infraction. As it currently stands, possession of less than an ounce without a medical certificate is a misdemeanor, but the maximum punishment is a hundred dollar fine. On January 1, 2011, the law will change and possession will still be illegal and the maximum punishment stays the same - a fine of $100, but the level of the offense will only be an infraction (similar to a traffic ticket).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
Recently the Governor signed into law a bill that made a violation of Health & Safety Code section 11357(b) an infraction (not a criminal conviction), subject to a fine of $100. H&S 11357(b) punishes the personal possession of less than one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana. Previously, it was a misdemeanor crime and subjected one to probation and a fine, though most were eligible for diversion or dismissal following the completion of a drug program pursuant to Proposition 36 or Penal Code 1000.1. So now it is an infraction instead of a misdemeanor. Keep in mind that no changes were made to Vehicle Code section 23222 (Possession of Marijuana While Driving) which remains a misdemeanor and diversion or dismissal following a drug program is not available.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Right now, possession of marijuana is still a criminal offense but is subject to the provisions of the medical marijuana laws.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
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