| Posted on Sat, September, 5th 2015 by THCFinder
Today, Albuquerque city council members, Rey Garduño and Isaac Benton, filed a new bill to remove criminal sanctions pertaining to possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia from the city’s municipal codes. A companion resolution, also submitted today, would make marijuana possession violations the lowest priority for the Albuquerque Police Department. The bill will be introduced on Wednesday, September 9 with consideration by the full council on September 21.
“Incarcerating people through this failed war on drugs for possessing a small amount of marijuana is creating criminals where none exist,” said Garduño, president of the Albuquerque city council.
Last fall, Garduño sponsored a similar measure that passed the council 5-4 on a party line vote. However, it was vetoed by Mayor Berry. Since then, Albuquerque residents voiced their support at the ballot box for decriminalizing marijuana. In November, voters in Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County voiced overwhelming support for marijuana decriminalization – Bernalillo County voted 60 percent and Santa Fe County voted 73 percent in favor of statewide decriminalization. More than 50 percent of Albuquerque voters in all nine city council districts voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
“Now there is clear evidence that Albuquerque voters support decriminalizing marijuana,” said Jessica Gelay, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The people have spoken. Mayor Berry should listen to his constituents and not veto this measure this time around.”
The proposed ordinance makes one ounce or less of marijuana and possession of any 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 spends more than two weeks in jail for a first offense and 90 days for a subsequent offense.