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Decrimanizaltion proposed for New Mexico’s biggest city

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The city of Albuquerque may soon decriminalize cannabis.

City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are pushing to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of cannabis in order to reallocate police resources for more serious crimes. Their proposal would amend Albuquerque’s criminal code by making small possession cases come with a $25 ticket but no jail time. The city’s mayor must approve the amendment before any changes are made.

Currently police can fine first-time offenders $50 for possessing an ounce or less of cannabis. First-time offenders can also be sent to jail for a maximum 15 days, but that is rarely the case. Second violations come with steeper fines and more penalties.

“It’s been needed for many years,” Emily Kaltenbach, the state director in New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, told the AP. “New Mexico is sort of behind the curve when it comes to marijuana reform.”

Kalentbach continued, stating cannabis possession charges can prevent them from securing loans for housing or school or  being approved to adopt a child.

Former Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry vetoed a similar decriminalization proposal in 2015. The Republican mayor was replaced last year by Democrat Tim Keller.

 

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Decrimanizaltion proposed for New Mexico’s biggest city