Santa Fe, NM: Members of the Santa Fe City Council last week voted 5-4 in favor of municipal legislation that reduces penalties for those who possess small quantities of marijuana for non-medical purposes.
The new ordinance imposes a civil fine of no more than $25 for offenses involving the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia.
Proponents of the change had previously qualified the measure to appear on the November ballot. However, members of the Council decided to approve the proposal outright rather than put the issue before local voters.
Under state law, the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for non-medical purposes is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a criminal record.
On Friday, Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry vetoed legislation that would have allowed city voters to decide on a similar marijuana decriminalization proposal this fall.
Voters in an estimated 20 cities nationwide are anticipated to decide on similar municipal measures in November.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500