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Marijuana Cultivation Can Still Mean Jail Time, Even in the Medical Era: California Bill to Make it Possible Misdemeanor Shot Down

In California, it's okay to grow weed for yourself and your collective under medical marijuana law. Unless you're caught. Then you could see felony charges.

Strange, huh? Liberal state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a pro-pot force if ever there was one, tried to change that by making misdemeanor charges for cultivation a possibility in the state.

Republicans today shot it down.

Ammiano's AB 1017 was voted down in the assembly 24-36, with only one Republican, Orange County's Chris Norby, saying it was a good idea.

Some Democrats weighed in against it too, including L.A.'s Mike Feuer, Sandre Swanson of Oakland, and Jerry Hill of San Mateo.

Mary Jane is jail bait.
Mary Jane is jail bait.
1cognito

Supporters spun the proposal as a way to get nonviolent people whose only offense was growing put out of the state's overcrowded prison system.

California NORML Director Dale Gieringer:

The state legislature has once again demonstrated its incompetence when it comes to dealing with prison crowding. With California under court order to reduce its prison population, it is irresponsible to maintain present penalties for non-violent drug offenses. It makes no sense to keep marijuana growing a felony, when assault, battery, and petty theft are all misdemeanors.

Legislators have once again caved in to to the state's law enforcement establishment, which has a vested professional interest in maximizing drug crime.

Pissed off? You vote, don't you? Let you representatives know how you feel. Or just kick back, exhale, and hope this will change. (One thing's for sure: It ain't happening this year).

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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