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California Assemblyman Pushes For Changes In Pot Prosecution

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced legislation that would decrease penalties for people convicted of illegally growing marijuana, in certain cases.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

A marijuana cultivation sentence in California is considered a felony, which is punishable by up to three years in state prison. Ammiano said that his bill would change that.

“In talking to many district attorneys across California, particularly in the north, they would like an option about sentencing,” said Ammiano.

The bill would allow prosecutors to seek a felony or misdemeanor charge, based on the circumstances of the grower.

“For example, it may be someone cultivating marijuana for home use, say for medical purposes, as opposed to some marijuana plantation that may in fact be run by a cartel,” said Ammiano.

Ammiano said felony cases are costly, back up the courts and contribute to prison overcrowding.

He expects his bill to start working through legislative committees next month.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Live from Redwood City

    Cheers for Tom! It’s about time someone took this on. Based on statistics from 2009, it costs $47,000 per year to incarcerate a person in this state. To put someone in prison for having a couple of pot plants in their back-yard is ludicrous. We’re hardly talking about a dangerous menace to society, here. On another note, an even worse use of taxpayer money is the death penalty. The state would save $19,000,000,000 over 10 years by eliminating it. The majority of the people of California would get rid of that–in a heartbeat–to see that money going to our schools and teachers, for instance. So, keep up the good fight!

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