From the Sacramento Bee:
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state, but he offered a consolation Thursday by signing a bill that would downgrade possession of an ounce or less from a misdemeanor to an infraction.
"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," Schwarzenegger wrote in a signing message.
"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."
This new law is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011 even though Proposition 19 is expected to pass overwhelmingly.