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california political news & opinion
california legislation > AB 1017

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Date of Hearing: May 3, 2011
Chief Counsel: Gregory Pagan


ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
Tom Ammiano, Chair

AB 1017 (Ammiano) - As Introduced: February 18, 2011


SUMMARY : Makes the cultivation of marijuana alternatively
punishable as a misdemeanor with a penalty of imprisonment in a
county jail for a period of not more than one year.

EXISTING LAW :

1)Provides that every person who plants, cultivates harvests,
dries, or processes, any marijuana, or any part thereof,
except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punishable by
imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, 2, or 3 years.
İHealth and Safety Code (HSC) Section 11358.]

2)States that every person that possesses marijuana for the
purposes of sale shall be punished by imprisonment in the
state prison for 16 months, 2, or 3 years. (HSC Section
11359.)

3)States that except as otherwise provided, or as authorized by
law, every person who transports, imports into this state,
sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to
transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer,
or give away, or attempts to transport into this state, or
transport any marijuana shall be punished by imprisonment in
the state prison for 2, 3, or 4 years. (HSC Section 11360.)

4)Provides that except as authorized by law, every person who
possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by
imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than
one year, or by a fine of not more than $500, by both such
fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment in
the state prison. İHSC Section 11357(a).]

5)States that except as authorized by law, every person who
possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than
concentrated cannabis, is guilty of an infraction punishable








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by a fine of not more than $100. İHSC Section 11357(b).]

6)States that except as authorized by law, every person who
possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than
concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in
the county jail for a period of not more than six months, by a
fine of not more than $500, or by both such fine and
imprisonment. İHSC Section 11357(c).]

7) States that except as authorized by law, every person 18
years of age or over who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of
marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds
of, or within, any school providing instruction in
Kindergarten or any of Grades 1 through 12 during hours the
school is open for classes or school-related programs is
guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not
more than $500, by imprisonment in the county jail for a
period of not more than 10 days, or both. İHSC Section
11357(d).]

8)States that except as authorized by law, ever person under the
age of 18 who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana,
other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or
within, any school providing instruction in Kindergarten or
any of Grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for
classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor
and shall be punished by a fine of nor more than $250 for a
first offense, or a fine of not more that $500 or commitment
to a juvenile facility, as specified, upon a finding that
second or subsequent offense has been committed. İHSC Section
11357(e).]

FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown

COMMENTS :

1)Author's Statement : According to the author, "This sensible
change to provide a district attorney with the discretion to
charge either a misdemeanor or felony for marijuana
cultivation based on local community standards is long
overdue. Mandating felony prosecution for every marijuana
cultivation charge, regardless of circumstances, uses up
precious court resources and state prison beds, and does not
differentiate between large-scale illegal grows and mom and
pop backyard grows. Nobody will get a free pass, even small








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backyard grows and trimmers can be charged with a misdemeanor,
and some district attorneys may continue prosecuting every
cultivation case as a felony. AB 1017 simply provides a
district attorney with the discretion to prosecute as either a
felony or misdemeanor."

2)Argument in Support : According to the California Public
Defenders Association
, "This bill would give local prosecutors
the discretion to charge violations of Section 11358 of the
Health and Safety Code, cultivation of marijuana, as
misdemeanors or felonies. Under current law cultivation of
any quantity of marijuana is only chargeable as a felony.
Under current law, possession of less than an ounce of
marijuana is an infraction. This bill would align marijuana
cultivation with a more consistent and sensible sentencing
scheme. This bill would untie the hands of prosecutors to
allow them to charge cultivation of small quantities of
marijuana in a manner that would allow them to prosecute small
growers, but not inflict upon them the lifelong burden of a
felony conviction. This bill simply makes sense in today's
world."

3)Argument in Opposition : According to the California Narcotics
Officers' Association
, "AB 1017 will decrease the penalties
for marijuana cultivation. The unhappy reality in California
is that organized criminal enterprises have successfully
invaded the marijuana cultivation business in California.
Legislation, such as AB 1017 that reduces the penalties for
marijuana cultivation, amounts to an improvement in their
business climate and could only cause a continued increase in
the influx of organized criminal enterprises into the
marijuana cultivation business."

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

Support

California NORML
California Public Defenders Association

Opposition

California District Attorneys Association
California Narcotics Officers' Association
California Police Chiefs Association








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California State Sheriffs' Association


Analysis Prepared by
: Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)
319-3744