The Nation: An Ounce of Caution

On New Year's Day a new California law went into effect that sharply reduces the penalties for possession of marijuana. Now anyone caught with less than an ounce of grass will be given only a traffic ticket-type citation and a possible fine of up to $100.

The law demands a peculiar kind of precision from police officers, namely a certainty about how much grass makes an ounce. A Los Angeles importer says he has sold several thousand pocket-size scales from Hong Kong to various police departments. In Los Angeles, the scales will be standard patrol-car equipment. San Francisco police, however, are relying...

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