Photo via iStock/ ferrantraite
On Monday, the City Council of Albuquerque, New Mexico voted to approve a new ordinance which would decriminalize low-level cannabis possession. The measure, proposed by city council members Pat Davis and Isaac Benton last month, would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable with a $25 fine. Under current city law, a first-time offender can face a $50 fine and 15 days in jail, but the new legislation would remove the option of jail time entirely.
The city council approved the ordinance Monday after a day of hearing testimony from citizens in favor of the measure. But before the ordinance can go into effect, it must be approved by Mayor Tim Keller, who has said he wants to do more research before he will sign it. Keller did note that local law enforcement supports the policy, however. “This is a way for our officers to focus on high-priority crimes instead of on issues like low amounts of marijuana; it’s something that might help law enforcement,” he said to KOB 4 Eyewitness