Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges Plummet In California

Following the imposition of Senate Bill 1449 in 2010 –which reduced minor marijuana possession charges to civil infractions – the yearly number of misdemeanor drug charges in California has dropped a staggering 50%!

The measure amended the California Health and Safety Code to classify adult possession of up to 28.5g as an infraction, punishable by a fine of $100 – no criminal record, no court appearance, no court costs. Possession offenses involving quantities of 28.5g or higher are still treated as processed as misdemeanors. The measure took effect on the 1st of 2011.

According to statistics released in the 2012 California Crime Report, misdemeanor drug arrests have fallen throughout the state from an estimated 135,000 in ’07 to around 70,000 in ‘12. Though the decline was widespread, the greatest impact appears to be marijuana arrests – dropping from an almost record high of 60,000+ in 2009 to less than 8,000 in 2012.

Stated NORML Deputy Director, Paul Armentano: “Rather than continuing to spend tens of thousands of dollars in police time and in judicial costs arresting and prosecuting tens of thousand of minor marijuana offenders, these state resources are now being reprioritized toward other, more important public safety activities.”

A number of other states – including Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Nebraska – have since declassified minor possession of marijuana as a criminal offense.

California’s felony drug charges also fell a cool 15% during the last 5 years. Recent arrest statistics show roughly 13,500 in ‘12, down from 14,000 in ‘11.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying the need for education in regard to illicit drug use. If you’ve found yourself struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the team at Above It All addiction treatment center is available to help. Pick up the phone today and let our team of addiction specialists get you back on track towards the healthy, happy, fulfilling lifestyle you deserve.