Late last night, Albuquerque City Council members voted 5-4 on a party vote to remove criminal sanctions pertaining to possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia from the city’s municipal codes. The measure now heads to Mayor Keller’s desk for signature.
The proposed ordinance makes one ounce or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia a civil infraction with a fine of $25. A civil infraction is not considered a criminal conviction. The ordinance also takes away the potential for jail time. Currently, a person can spend more than two weeks in jail for a first offense and 90 days for a subsequent offense. Albuquerque becomes the second city in New Mexico to remove criminal penalties for possessing small amount of marijuana. Santa Fe decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2014. In 2015, former Councilor Garduño and Councilor Benton sponsored a similar measure that passed the council 5-4 on a party line vote. However, it was vetoed by Mayor Berry.
“It is time that cities resist Jeff Sessions’ war on marijuana and stand up to the Trump administration,” stated Emily