| Posted on Wed, September, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder
Late last night, Albuquerque city council members voted 5-4 on party lines in favor of Ordinance 15-60 to remove criminal sanctions pertaining to possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia from the city’s municipal codes. The measure now heads to the Mayor who has the authority to veto the legislation.A companion resolution, also voted on tonight, that would make marijuana possession violations a low priority for the Albuquerque Police Department passed 6-3 with Republican Councilor Winter joining the Democrats in support.
In his opening remarks, Garduño, president of the City Council and the legislation co-sponsor stated, “We are criminalized people not only for the use [of marijuana], but for life. We shouldn’t curtail them for such a minor infraction.”
Last fall, Garduño sponsored a similar measure that also 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.
“The vote tonight, in support of decriminalizing tiny amounts of marijuana, represents a critical first step toward bringing Albuquerque law into step with public opinion and common sense,” stated Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New Mexico. “The majority of the City Council and the people of Albuquerque have spoken. It’s time their mayor took note.”