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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!