One month after policymakers failed to pass a bill legalizing marijuana in the state, New Mexico has signed into effect a law to decriminalize cannabis. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham authorized the legislation, which will reduce the punishment for possession of up to a half ounce of weed from up to 15 days in jail to a fee of $50.
The Senate passed SB 323 in March by a vote of 30 to 8. The House took its time deliberating over some Judiciary Committee amendments, eventually approving the legislation mere hours before its session concluded.
“New Mexico just took an important step forward toward more humane marijuana policies,” Karen O’Keefe, state policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project told Forbes. “It will no longer brand cannabis consumers criminals or threaten them with jail time for simple possession. But it’s a shame that only one piece of the war on marijuana is ending in New Mexico this year.”
“This bill ensures that until we do legalize, people will not have their lives destroyed by being criminalized and stigmatized for possessing marijuana for their personal use,” wrote Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico director Emily Kaltenbach in a press release. Subsequent marijuana offenses may still