From marijuana to 'sexting': new laws set to take effect Jan. 1

In all, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico passed 31,005 new laws in 2010. Some of them will come into effect with the new year. Here is a sampling of some of the trends in lawmaking in 2010.

1. Marijuana

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    California didn't legalize marijuana, as this man wanted, but it did lessen the penalty for possession of an ounce or less.
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Starting Saturday, people caught in California with as much as an ounce of marijuana will be charged with an “infraction” – a penalty that is equivalent to a parking ticket. Previously, possession of an ounce of marijuana had been a misdemeanor, which unlike an infraction, can include jail time.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, will be illegal.

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