Why California Loosened Its Pot Law

Schwarzenegger is trying to Kill Prop 19 ... or he just likes to toke
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2010 6:41 PM CDT
Who would get in more trouble ... the driver or the smoker?   (AP)

(Newser) – Getting caught with up to an ounce of pot (enough for about 30 joints) in California will get you in about as much trouble as driving a little too fast. What's behind Schwarzenegger's decision to decriminalize recreational pot? The Week takes a look at 5 theories.

  1. He's actually trying to kill Proposition 19: It could be tough to get people to support the full legalization of recreational marijuana when it's basically legal.

  1. He had the state's wretched budget in mind: He's basically said this is the reason. When you're strapped for cash, why spend money prosecuting a teen caught with some weed?
  2. He had civil rights in mind: An analysis of the 61,000 people who got nabbed last year showed that African Americans in the state have triple the likelihood of being arrested for personal marijuana possession—even though young whites smoke more pot than young blacks.
  3. He likes the stuff: There was that scene in 1977's Pumping Iron that shows him smoking a joint while eating a big hunk of cake...
Click here for No. 5.

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