California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has decriminalized possession of small quantities of marijuana. The Governator signed a bill transforming possession from a misdemeanor to an "infraction." That puts it on the level of a speeding ticket except you don't get points on your licence.
Schwarzenegger downgraded marijuana possession for a simple but, for California, compelling reason - cost. Accused charged with misedemeanors are entitled to trial by jury. Now possession of up to an ounce is punishable by a $100-fine but will not entail either arrest or a criminal record.
California is one of a dozen U.S. states that have downgraded marijuana possession laws. If that's the case in the U.S., it makes you wonder why Canada lags behind. Oh, I forgot, we've got a neanderthal with a raging prison fetish for a prime minister.