A proposal to decriminalize recreational cannabis in Albuquerque would do away with jail time and shrink fines. Co-sponsor Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis said the time is right and the measure has a lot of support. He also said it would also help police focus on more pressing things.
"We know this is not the type of crime we should be criminalizing," Davis said.
Right now, getting caught for the first time with an ounce or less of cannabis means a $50 fine and a couple of weeks in jail. Under the new proposal, people would do no jail time and pay a $25 fine.
A majority of Bernalillo County voters have said they’d get behind similar measures. The Albuquerque police union supports this one. And Mayor Tim Keller said during his campaign that he’d support lowering penalties for cannabis possession, too.
His predecessor, former Mayor Richard Berry vetoed similar proposals twice. Santa Fe already did this in 2014.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation.