Decriminalization of marijuana in California began in 1975 with the passage of the Moscone Act. It reduced possession of small amounts of cannabis to a civil rather than criminal offense.
In 2000, another proposition further reduced the punishment of drug offenses.
In 2010, Senate Bill 1449 was passed, which further reduced the charge of possession of one ounce of cannabis or less, from a misdemeanor to an infraction, similar to a traffic violation—a maximum of a $100 fine and no mandatory court appearance or criminal record. The law became effective January 1, 2011.