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Albuquerque Might See Marijuana Decriminalization in Coming Days
Author: Alice  08/03/2018 - 17:21:00

March 08, 2018, Albuquerque

City councilors in the largest city of New Mexico are working for the decriminalization of cannabis possession in instances where an individual is caught with an ounce (or less) of weed. The proposal is intended to take away unnecessary burden from law enforcement agencies. It will also help in reallocating resources towards more serious crimes.

Isaac Benton and Pat Davis are the two councilors made their proposal public this Monday. The proposal would be pushed to revise the city’s penal code by declaring low-level marijuana possession an offence, where a person can be fined but must not be awarded a prison time.

If this proposal gets the approval of the mayor and the city council, then Albuquerque will be another addition to the list of municipalities where possessing small amount of cannabis is not a punishable crime. Cities like Pittsburgh and Orlando have already put the same decriminalization reforms in place while nine states have legalized recreational cannabis.

Marijuana decriminalization proposed for New Mexico’s biggest city – Image powered by Columbianorml.org

According to Emily Kaltenbach, the director of group Drug Policy Alliance who works nationwide to make drug-related crime laws less stringent, this is a much needed step in the state which is not catching up with the cannabis reforms taking place throughout the country.

She also pointed towards the fallout of getting prosecuted for low-level possessions of cannabis because a drug-related arrest significantly reduces the chances to secure rentals and loans. Moreover, in New Mexico residents with criminal record can’t adopt a child.

As of now, it’s arresting officer’s judgment to fine or refer the case to the court of a first-time offender possessing small amount of cannabis. The court can send the offender to jail for maximum 15 days, however, such instances are very rare. Amount of the penalty for such cases is proportional to the number of violations.

Albuquerque Mayor Vetoes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure – Image powered by Thedailychronic.net

Low rates of cannabis-related arrests have provided a reason to contest to the people opposing this reform. For instance, a Republican representative from Albuquerque, Monica Youngblood criticized this move. According to her, the administration has more serious matters to tackle. She also doesn’t see any added burden on the judicial system due to the cases of low-level cannabis possession. In the past, she also opposed the legalization of cannabis.

However, police data of the city shows that in last 12 months more than 170 cases of cannabis possession have been reported and each of these instances must have consumed considerable police time. By making minor cannabis crimes only a ticketing offence, lots of police time can be freed.

A decriminalization proposal of the same nature was introduced three years ago, but it was rejected by the then Republican mayor. This time, there are strong chances that the proposal will get through because a Democrat is now holding the mayor’s office. Albuquerque’s Police Union is also supporting the proposal, making it easier for the city council and the mayor to not raise any objections. In few days, or a couple of weeks, the status of cannabis decriminalization in the city will become clear.

The post Albuquerque Might See Marijuana Decriminalization in Coming Days appeared first on I Love Growing Marijuana.

Original article from ilovegrowingmarijuana.com: Albuquerque Might See Marijuana Decriminalization in Coming Days


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