Officials announced Wednesday, March 24, 2010 that next November, California voters will be able to vote on the legalization of marijuana. The initiative would allow the drug to be sold and taxed. According to an article on Silicon Valley Mercury News, Measure supporters collected 694,248 signatures, well over the 433,971 required. An estimated 523,531 signatures were valid.
“We’re one step closer to ending cannabis prohibition and the unjust laws that lock people up for cannabis while alcohol is not only sold openly but advertised on television to kids every day,” said Richard Lee, the main advocate for the initiative and an Oakland marijuana entrepreneur.
This bill, known as the Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, would allow adults age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. This significantly changes California law that currently indicates that possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by $100 fine, a law that was enacted in 1975. Before that date, judges were allowed to impose sentences of up to ten years in prison.
If the measure passes into law, California will be at odds with the federal government. As it stands, the possession and sale of marijuana is still a federal crime despite any state approval. There is still a significant difference between state and federal courts with regards to drug possession crimes. If you have been charged with a marijuana crime, an experienced California marijuana defense attorney can help. Sitkoff & Hanrahan will work diligently to build a strong defense on your behalf and protect your rights. Call 866-430-8383 to schedule a free drug offense consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today.