Albuquerque City Council Proposes Cannabis Decriminalization Bill – News

The proposed ordinance, filed this week by City Council members Pat Davis and Isaac Benton, would make possession of an ounce or less of pot and/or drug paraphernalia a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $25, with no associated jail time.

Under the city’s current laws, a first-time pot offender can be fined up to $50 and jailed for up to 15 days, at the arresting officer’s discretion. Some local politicians have said that city police rarely arrest low-level cannabis offenders, which makes the proposed decriminalization ordinance unnecessary. “I don’t see that people are being arrested or re-arrested or that the justice system is being packed with all of these low-level possession crimes,” state Rep. Monica Youngblood

In the past week, only one person was arrested for pot possession within the city limits. City police did report 177 cannabis possession offenses in a recent 12-month period according to Councilor Davis, a former law enforcement officer. Although it is unclear how many of these individuals were arrested and how many only received citations, Davis noted that each of these incidents would have taken several hours of police time to process the paperwork. The city’s police union have expressed their support for the proposed decriminalization ordinance.”>said in a statement. “Cities know best the contours of their own problems – and are therefore best positioned to craft meaningful solutions to those problems. Benton and Davis are hopeful that the current mayor, Democrat Tim Keller, will support the measure.”>around one-third of U.S. residents now live in areas where cannabis is decriminalized or legal.

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