ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer be a criminal offense in New Mexico’s largest city.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller signed legislation Thursday, April 12, 2018, amending the city’s criminal code, making low-level pot possession of 1 ounce (28.35 grams) or less without a valid medical cannabis referral a citable offense.
Instead of jail time and a criminal penalty fee, police would issue a $25 fine. City officials say the new law will go into effect in mid-April 2018.
Albuquerque joins a growing list of U.S. municipalities that have similar measures in place, including New Mexico’s capital, Santa Fe.
City officials say law enforcement should be able to spend more time on violent crimes instead of minor marijuana offenses.