What will reducing penalties do?
Simply put, the proposed "Reducing Marijuana Penalties Act" makes possession of less than one ounce of Marijuana, and paraphernalia, an infraction punishable by no more than a $25 fine.
No person charged under city ordinance would be incarcerated.
Under current city code, possession of small amounts of marijuana carries a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for the first offense and a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for subsequent offenses (Ord. 12-4-9).
What about state law?
Under NM state law it is still a crime to possess marijuana, but if passed, police in Albuquerque would be able to choose to enforce the city ordinance instead of the harsher state law. Judges also have the same discretion at sentencing. We know our police have more important issues to focus on. A public vote approving the new law gives officers and judges support for choosing to apply voter approved lower penalties.
Why just change Albuquerque’s law? How does this citizen petition process work?
Albuquerque’s city charter is just one a few in the state that permits citizens to propose or amend laws by citizen petition. The law requires us to collect the signatures from about 11,000 registered city voters in order to require the city council to change the law or hold an election. State law can only be changed by the legislature.
Who is part of this campaign?
This campaign is 100% grassroots led and supported by New Mexicans taking responsibility to reforming our own marijuana laws. To comply with campaign finance laws, Drug Policy Action and ProgressNow New Mexico formed Practical Policies NM PAC, a political action committee supporting campaigns to reduce penalties for marijuana possession across New Mexico.
Paid for by Practical Policies NM PAC, M. Garcia, Treas. Printed in house.
CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE MARIJUANA PENALTIES in ABQ
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