Update: Councilors Announce Push to Decriminalize Cannabis

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on two Albuquerque city councilors’ proposal to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

An Albuquerque city councilor says his proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession would save police potentially thousands of dollars each year while freeing up time and resources for officers to focus on more serious crimes.

Pat Davis’ comments Monday came as he and fellow Councilman Isaac Benton outlined their proposed change to Albuquerque’s criminal code and make small amounts of marijuana possession a citable offense — at most.

Davis says officers could either issue a $25 ticket or essentially do nothing when finding someone with the small amount of pot on them.

The change would add Albuquerque to a growing list of municipalities that have decriminalized possessing marijuana in small amounts. It must win approval from full City Council and mayor to become law.


9:45 a.m.

Two Albuquerque city councilors say they want to decriminalize pot possession in cases where a person is caught with an ounce of marijuana or less.

Councillors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton plan Monday to discuss their proposal to amend Albuquerque’s criminal code.

It now allows for authorities to issue $50 fines to first-time offenders possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. The infraction can also result in a maximum of 15 days in jail under the criminal code.

Under Davis and Benton’s proposal, possessing pot without a valid referral would be a citable offense that comes with a $25 ticket and no jail time.

The same citation could be applied in cases where an officer finds a person in possession of marijuana paraphernalia, like a pipe or bong.

The Associated Press