George Soros Places Million-Dollar Bet That Marijuana Legalization Will Pass In California

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George Soros put a mil on it.

​Billionaire George Soros stuffed $1 million into California’s pot-legalization bowl — for an effort that has been hurting in the polls.

California Secretary of State campaign-finance data shows that the Soros made the contribution Tuesday to the Drug Policy Action Committee to Tax Tax and Regulate Marijuana.

The move comes on the day that he wrote a love letter to legalization in the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s part of what he wrote:

Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets …

What we’re wondering is, what took him so long? Prop. 19 has been struggling, and now the election is a week away.

Number of medical marijuana users in Hawaii jumps

Number of medical marijuana users in Hawaii jumps

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) – The number of medical marijuana users in Hawaii has jumped to more than 8,000, up from about 2,575 in January 2007.

The chief of the narcotics enforcement division for the state Department of Public Safety, Keith Kamita, said Wednesday that just 2 percent of the current patients suffer from cancer and other debilitating ailments the program is intended to target.

West Hawaii Today reports Kamita says 4,938 permit-holders were prescribed marijuana for claims of severe pain.

He says marijuana is also prescribed for patients complaining of headaches, pain from wearing high heels, dry skin, insomnia and other ailments.

Kamita says more than half of the patients in the medical marijuana program live on the Big Island.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties in California

Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties in California

Bonnie King

The new bill changes marijuana possession of less than an ounce to an infraction.

(SACRAMENTO) – From California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on September 30, 2010.

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am signing Senate Bill 1449.

This bill changes the crime of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable only by a $100 fine to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Under existing law, jail time cannot be imposed, probation cannot be ordered, nor can the base fine exceed $100 for someone convicted of this crime.

I am opposed to decriminalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana and oppose Proposition 19, which is on the November ballot.

Unfortunately, Proposition 19 is a deeply flawed measure that, if passed, will adversely impact California’s businesses without bringing in the tax revenues to the state promised by its proponents.

Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.

In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.

As noted by the Judicial Council in its support of this measure, the appointment of counsel and the availability of a jury trial should be reserved for defendants who are facing loss of life, liberty, or property greater than $100.

For these reasons, I am signing this bill.

Sincerely, Arnold Schwarzenegger