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Possessing 1 Ounce Of Pot No Longer A Crime In Calif.

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California is now no more serious than getting a speeding ticket.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill late Thursday that reduces possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

The maximum punishment is a $100 fine.

Schwarzenegger said after signing Senate Bill 1449 that he does not support the decriminalization of marijuana but that the bill would save the state courts money.

Even as a misdemeanor, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana was still punishable only by a $100 and no jail time. But offenders faced arrest, a possible court appearance and a criminal record.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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