Albuquerque City Council Members File Cannabis Decriminalization Bill

Two Albuquerque city council members filed a bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia.

The bill, filed by council members Rey Garduño and Isaac Benton, would make such infractions punishable by a civil fine of $25. Under current Albuquerque law, first-time offenders can spend more than two weeks in jail, and a second offense can lead to up to 90 days behind bars.

Garduño, who serves as the city council president, said that “incarcerating people through this failed war on drugs for possessing a small amount of marijuana is creating criminals where none exist.”

Garduño sponsored a similar bill last fall that passed the council before being vetoed by Mayor Richard Berry. In November, more than 50% of voters in Albuquerque’s nine city council districts voted in support of decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis.

“Mayor Berry should listen to his constituents and not veto this measure this time around,” said Jessica Gelay, a policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.


Photo Credit: Rescuenav

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