Get Out of Jail Free Card for Growing Pot

California lawmaker tries again to get marijuana one step closer to legality.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The proposed rules to put New Jersey's new medical marijuana law into effect are drawing fire from one of its chief legislative sponsors, Sen. Nicholas Scutari(D-Union).

    There is an effort under way to make it even easier to smoke marijuana in California with little to no penalty.

    San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is pushing a bill that would no longer make growing pot a felony.

    Right now if you are convicted of cultivating marijuana, there is a mandatory sentence of jail time, unless you can prove you were doing it for medicinal purposes.

    Ammiano's bill, AB1017, would give local DAs the authority to charge illegal weed cultivators with a misdemeanor if they so choose.

    Here is the verbatim of the bill:

    AB 1017, as introduced, Ammiano. Marijuana cultivation: reduced penalty.
    Existing law requires that every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana, or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.
    This bill would make that crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison. By changing the penalty for this crime to authorize imprisonment in a county jail, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
    The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
    This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
    Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1.  Section 11358 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

    11358.  Every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished by imprisonment in  a county jail for a period of not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison.
    SEC. 2.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

    Back in 2009, Ammiano proposed a different law that would have taxed pot just like alcohol. It made national headlines, but ended up dying in committee