California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Thursday signed into law a bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill reduces simple possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction.
Currently, small-time pot possession is "semi-decriminalized" in California. There is no possible jail sentence and a maximum $100 fine. But because possession is a misdemeanor, people caught with pot are "arrested," even if that means only they are served a notice to appear, and they must appear before a court.