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The Chronicle
Newt Gingrich: “See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality … That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t.”

​GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich does not support the legalization of medical marijuana, and in fact, would like to see the United States adopt a tougher policy against the use of cannabis and other substances, including the death penalty for some dealers.

Gingrich on Saturday told Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody that California showed medical marijuana was a “joke.” He introduced legislation to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis in 1981, but has since changed his mind about it, reports Eric W. Dolan at The Raw Story.
“What has changed was the number of parents I met with who said they did not want their children to get the signal from the government that it was acceptable behavior and that they were prepared to say as a matter of value that it was better to send a clear signal on no drug use at the risk of inconveniencing some people, than it was to be compassionate toward a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was OK to use the drug,” Gingrich claimed.

Graphic: Massachusetts Marijuana Movement Journal

​Starting this Saturday, January 1, 2011, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in California will be a less serious offense, similar to a parking ticket. The fine cannot be more than $100, considerably less than most speeding tickets or running a red light.

Despite the failure of legalization initiative Proposition 19, Californians just aren’t that into punishing people for pot. Their relaxed attitudes about weed are reflected in the new state law, which downgrades possession of up to an ounce from a misdemeanor crime punishable with a $100 fine to an infraction, with the fine staying the same, reports Heidi Ross at Internetbits.
The bill, SB 1449, was introduced this year by state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Sen. Leno said the state could no longer afford to go after people who had committed a crime that carries the same punishment as a parking ticket.