ABQ councilors want pot decriminalized - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ councilors want pot decriminalized

City Councilor Isaac Benton

A pair of Albuquerque city councilors are re-upping efforts to decriminalize marijuana in the Duke City.

City councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are planning an event on Monday with Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will decriminalize the herb. If the legislation passes, marijuana would still be illegal in the city. But officers would be instructed to either do nothing about it or write someone a $25 ticket, similar to a parking ticket, if they catch someone with an ounce or less.

“The bottom line is if you are just possessing a small amount of marijuana, we’re going to tell police officers that they could ignore it or write you a small fine for it,” Davis said.

City Councilor Pat Davis

Officers will still have the ability to charge someone under state law. That could happen if they believe someone is using it while driving, selling it or if someone has it while they are committing another crime, Davis said.

Davis said there will be several benefits to decriminalizing pot. One, it’ll free up officers to handle more pressing calls for service. Instead of spending hours arresting and writing police reports against someone for possession of marijuana, they can instead spend a few minutes writing a ticket or do nothing at all.

And, Davis said, the law will allow young people to avoid making their first appearance in the criminal justice system for something frivolous.

Shaun Willoughby, the president of the Albuquerque police union, said he would support the legislation. He said police officers are, in most cases, not arresting people for marijuana.

“I think it’s definitely the wave of the future,” he said. “There were multiple tax benefits (from marijuana legalization) in Colorado.”

Albuquerque city councilors in 2015 voted 5-4 to decriminalize marijuana. But former Mayor Richard Berry vetoed the legislation.

Davis said he thinks New Mexico as a state is not far from having legal marijuana. Several states around the country, including Colorado, have made it legal.

“I think New Mexico will be a state to legalize when we have a change in leadership next year in Santa Fe,” Davis said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » ABQ councilors want pot decriminalized


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
City, county detect first West Nile-positive mosquitoes of 2022
ABQnews Seeker
Routine monitoring has detected the Albuquerque ... Routine monitoring has detected the Albuquerque metro area's first West Nile-positive mosquitoes of 2022, city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials announced Friday. They ...
2
Vomiting causes can be elusive
ABQnews Seeker
It’s nobody’s favorite pastime. Sadly, some ... It’s nobody’s favorite pastime. Sadly, some cats retch intermittently throughout their lives
3
Tears of joy fill Isotopes' locker room after Bernard ...
ABQnews Seeker
After more than 1,000 games and ... After more than 1,000 games and a decade in the minors, Wynton Bernard gets his Major League call up to the Colorado Rockies.
4
As lawmakers eye changes, NM gets low marks for ...
ABQnews Seeker
Legislature looking to retool structure amid ... Legislature looking to retool structure amid ongoing revenue boom
5
Republicans open Hispanic community center in ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
GOP aims to attract groups who ... GOP aims to attract groups who typically vote Democrat
6
Forensics return from ‘Rust’ set
ABQnews Seeker
Sheriff's Office says agency still needs ... Sheriff's Office says agency still needs to review Alec Baldwin's phone records
7
Los Ranchos delays action on developments
ABQnews Seeker
Board adjourns after hours of comment ... Board adjourns after hours of comment without decision
8
Four suspects charged in 2021 carjacking-homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Alleged shooter, 3 others face multiple ... Alleged shooter, 3 others face multiple counts
9
SUV rams police vehicle, injuring one officer
ABQnews Seeker
Rio Rancho police fire at vehicle; ... Rio Rancho police fire at vehicle; driver detained