Jerry Brown on Drugs
He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes." After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."
California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215.
Presently, prosecutors must charge individuals arrested for possession of certain drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, with felonies. Under current California law, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction and possession of methamphetamine is currently eligible for a misdemeanor charge. Senate Bill 649, then, would have merely extended the option to possession of other substances, such as heroin and cocaine, and would not have gone so far as California has with marijuana.
The veto comes as California scrambles to figure out how to meet a Jan. 2014 deadline to reduce overcrowding in the state prison system. In 2010, California was ordered to reduce the prison population from 150,000 to 110,000.
This bill would make the unlawful possession of any of those substances punishable as either a felony punishable in county jail or as a misdemeanor punishable in a county jail for not more than one year.
OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California.
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