SANTA FE – The Legislature will consider reducing drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors to decrease incarceration costs and more effectively treat addiction under a bill introduced Tuesday.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque and Rep. Andrea Romero of Santa Fe, both Democrats, would reclassify the possession of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and various psychedelics, when there is no intent to distribute or traffic.
Marijuana possession already is classified as a misdemeanor on first offense for quantities up to one ounce. That would not change under the bill.
The proposal follows reforms to reclassify simple drug possession as a misdemeanor in Oklahoma, Utah, Connecticut, Alaska and California.