A California appeals court ruled this week that inmates serving time in prison can legally possess less than one ounce of marijuana in their cells… but cannot consume the drug.
“The 3rd District Court of Appeal’s 20-page ruling says the state’s voters legalized recreational possession of less than an ounce of cannabis in 2016, with no exception — even for those behind bars. The decision Tuesday overturned the Sacramento County convictions of five inmates who’d been found with marijuana in their prison cells,” reports Fox News.
“According to the plain language of…Proposition 64, possession of less than an ounce of cannabis in prison is no longer a felony,” decided a three-judge panel. “Smoking or ingesting cannabis in prison remains a felony.”
“The panel rejected the state’s argument that guards will lose control over prisons if inmates are free to possess small quantities of marijuana, noting possession can still be punished as a rules violation. Such punishments, The Mercury News says, could include having good behavior credits revoked,” adds Fox.
“It creates confusion,” Dan Olsen, a defense attorney, told FOX40. “If it’s illegal to take it in, it’s illegal to use it but now it’s not illegal to have it. It’s sort of like: what’s the point of making it not illegal to have it?”
The decision comes as the state legislature is poised to allow felons to serve on juries.
“SB310 will help ensure that California juries represent a fair cross-section of our communities…People with felony records have the right to vote in California. There is no legitimate reason why they should be barred from serving on a jury,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley.
“Currently, felons are prevented from serving on juries because of their obvious and inherent bias against prosecutors and law enforcement,” reports the Orange County Record. “If you honestly believe that jurors in California who’ve served time won’t be more lenient towards accused criminals, I’ve got a bullet train to sell you.”
The bill comes days after the state legislature voted to “guarantee medical coverage” to “low-income illegal immigrants” residing in California; costing more than $98 million per year.
“In a stance to distance itself from President Trump’s administration, California is set to become the first state in the country to pay for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to have full health benefits,” reports Fox News.
Read the full report at Fox News.