On Monday Albuquerque, New Mexico City Councilor Rey Garduno introduced legislation to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, reducing the charge to a simple $25 ticket.
Under the proposed law, Albuquerque, which is the most populous city in New Mexico, would save around $5 million annually on reduced enforcement costs, according to Garduno. Under current Albuquerque law, someone caught possessing an ounce of cannabis could be jailed for up to 15 days.
The City Council now has until August 18th to decide whether the proposal will appear on this November’s ballot as a referendum, where it would be voted on by the people.
“This is directed at young people who may find themselves arrested and how it could affect their lives in the future,” says Garduno. “We’re treating people as criminals when alcohol and even tobacco may even be worse.”