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(By Karen de Sá – kdesa@mercurynews.com)  — Beginning today, carrying a small amount of pot in California is no longer a crime.

Also beginning today, law enforcement will also tighten for fast-flying paparazzi, under a bill authored by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles. Following appeals by actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, Bass’s bill resulted in heightened penalties for reckless drivers in pursuit of a photo. Free-speech advocates fought the bill unsuccessfully.

Meanwhile, California laws will loosen for pot-smokers. Legislation by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reduces the penalty for marijuana possession of 28.5 grams or less to the equivalent of a traffic ticket. The offense is now deemed an infraction, carrying a $100 maximum fine.