ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on a measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession in New Mexico’s largest city (all times local):
The Albuquerque City Council has voted to decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts and send the measure to the mayor for final approval.
The City Council’s vote Monday night came after lengthy testimony, mostly from citizens urging council members to approve the change to the local criminal code.
The proposal put forward by city council members Pat Davis and Isaac Benton would make it a citable offense — not a criminal one — to possess an ounce (28 grams) of pot and paraphernalia without a valid medical marijuana referral.
Authorities could issue a $25 ticket but no jail time.
Under Albuquerque’s current criminal code, police can issue $50 fines to first-time offenders possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. Authorities also can jail first-time offenders for a maximum of 15 days, though such instances appear to be rare.
A proposal to decriminalize pot possession in small amounts is expected to go before the City Council in New Mexico’s largest city, as a growing number of U.S. municipalities have enacted similar measures.
The proposal — put forward by City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton — is scheduled to be debated and receive a vote Monday evening.
It would amend Albuquerque’s criminal code by making low-level pot possession and paraphernalia without a valid medical marijuana referral a citable offense that can come with a $25 ticket but no jail time.
If the measure wins approval by the City Council, it still must be sent to the mayor for final approval.