santa fe new mexico marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Santa Fe City Council Decriminalizes Marijuana

santa fe new mexico marijuanaMarijuana reform activists gathered enough signatures for a marijuana decriminalization measure in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The measure would have to go before the Santa Fe City Council, and the council would either pass the measure outright, or refer it to voters in the next election. Most people were assuming that the council would pass on the issue and leave it up to voters to decide. That route would have required some campaigning and dedicating more resources. Fortunately, that didn’t happen because the Santa Fe City Council decided to vote on the measure, and passed it. Per the Santa Fe Reporter:

In a surprise move, Santa Fe City Council voted to decriminalized marijuana Wednesday night.

The resolution, passed narrowly on a 5-4 vote, changes the city’s penalties for possessing one ounce of marijuana or less and marijuana-related paraphernalia from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a $50-$100 fine and up to 15 days in prison to a civil infraction and a $25 fee. It also instructs the city’s police officers to treat possession of small amounts of marijuana as the lowest law enforcement priority.

The vote comes after a summer’s worth of organizing by Drug Policy Action and ProgressNow NM to get a decriminalization question to voters on the November general election ballot this fall. Santa Fe is now the first city in New Mexico to decriminalize petty pot crimes. Emily Kaltenbach, state director of Drug Policy Action, a 501(c)4 affiliated with Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, came out of the Council chambers with mixed emotions.

This is a great thing for the people of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kudos to the Drug Policy Alliance and ProgressNow NM for making this happen. Santa Fe now joins Washington D.C. as having the best marijuana decriminalization law in the country. My home State of Oregon was the first to pass marijuana decriminalization in America, and I have to say, I’m a bit jealous of Santa Fe. The penalty in Oregon is $500, an enormous amount compared to the penalty in Santa Fe. I hope that law enforcement respects the measure, and doesn’t do what they are doing in Philadelphia. Philadelphia also recently passed marijuana decriminalization, however, their police force is hiding behind state law instead of city law, and are acting as if the reform never occurred.

  • Cyndysub

    Well that a step away from outright prohibition. In other words a shallow victory.

    • David

      Great win for a great and beautiful old city I once haunted with my presence. Congratulations.

    • MrPC

      I’m sure almost everyone who frequents this forum would flip a big switch and instantly legalize adult possession in every town, city, county and state in the country if they only could. In reality, the best we can do is a whole bunch of these shallow victories over a period of time and try to keep in mind what it was like 10 or 20 years ago.

  • Sarijuana

    This surprised me. There were enough signatures to get this on the November ballot, but when state officials decided it may not fit on the ballot, and there was banter about it back and forth, and the SF Council was obviously not ready to let the election officials make a decision. Bravo for them.

    Luckily, Santa Fe has a progressive mayor who won’t veto the measure. Albuquerque is not so lucky. ABQ Mayor Berry has vowed to veto any such measure, so It will be up to the voters if it gets on the November ballot. Although officers in Santa Fe have been directed to make marijuana a low priority, they still have the choice to enforce state law, or city law, as I understand it. This has potential for problems in the future. None the less, it’s progress.

    • Den

      The ABQ mayor vetoed the measure because the city council also loaded it with a tax increase but failed to specify how they would use the revenue. Giving politicians tax revenue and a blank check is frightening. The council meets again on Wednesday and can choose to approve the initial measure and send it to the mayor without any additional pork added.

      • Sarijuana

        He said he could not accept something that defies state or federal law, so in my mind he is spineless.

  • Sarijuana

    The Mayor in ABQ just vetoed the city council resolution to put decriminalization on the ballot this November. He is so short sighted, and will look like a relic in the not too distant future I’m sure of it. Crap… on my wedding anniversary, even. I was just having a good time.

  • mike1188

    Hopefully the police don’t start there own agenda and not follow there cities laws.

  • freespeech

    “The legislation, which went into effect in May, allows for the growing of pot by licensed individuals, the formation of growers and users clubs, the sale by pharmacies of 40 grams of pot a month to registered users and the tracking of legally grown marijuana through a system of genetic markers of authorized plants.”-AP
    Bad. All bad. This reeks of corporate influence. So what are the “approved genetics” of authorized plants? (besides being limited to 15% THC) Is growing a male to produce your own seed illegal?(as this would subvert their tracking system through “genetic markers”

  • freespeech

    stop censoring relevant comments, WEED BLOG!

    • reefer

      FYI tried to post a comment on the Uruguay article. Got censored. So I posted it here. Censored again. Got one through on that one which hints at what I was trying to say, but they keep censoring the one that contains a paragraph copied/pasted from an AP article.
      CENSORSHIP HAS NO PLACE ON A CANNABIS FORUM, I DON’T CARE WHERE(some) OF YOUR MONEY COMES FROM!!

      • Money? We not corporate owned and we make about enough to keep the site online and we are fine with that. TWB is completely owned by three friends. We both have other jobs and we do this because we love marijuana and hate prohibition. Thanks for the support!

    • WE DON’T CENSOR COMMENTS! This blog is ran by ONLY TWO PEOPLE, both of which were sleeping and away from our computers last night when you posted your comments. Comments are automatically held for moderation until we get to a computer to approve them if 1) somebody flags the comment 2) you repeatedly comment in a short period of time 3) you post a link 4) you use inappropriate, abusive or “spammy” language.

    • WE HAVE NEVER ‘CENSORED’ A COMMENT!!!!!

    • I’m sorry your comments were waiting to be approved and we were sleeping so we couldn’t approve them. We don’t censor comments. Thanks for all your support and kind words.

  • freespeech

    “The legislation, which went into effect in May, allows for the growing of pot by licensed individuals, the formation of growers and users clubs, the sale by pharmacies of 40 grams of pot a month to registered users and the tracking of legally grown marijuana through a system of genetic markers of authorized plants.”-AP
    Bad. All bad. This reeks of corporate influence. So what are the “approved genetics” of authorized plants? (besides being limited to 15% THC) Is growing a male to produce your own seed illegal?(as this would subvert their tracking system through “genetic markers”)

    So, weed blog, why would you censor this comment, but not the other one?

  • lonewolf777

    Thats great news..now that “right turn at Albuquerque” needs some more work