Marijuana decriminalization was recently passed by the Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council. Rather than arrest people and jail people for marijuana possession, people will now be fined $25 for possessing personal amounts of marijuana. A similar proposal was supposed to be on the ballot in Albuquerque, New Mexico this November. The Albuquerque City Council voted to put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide the issue.
Unfortunately, the mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, decided that the democratic process wasn’t good enough and blocked the measure from being on the ballot. Per KOAT:
“I have carefully considered and have exercised my veto authority on R-14-91, which passed at the City Council meeting of August 18, 2014 by a vote of 5 For and 4 Against. Per the City Charter I do not have the ability to veto only portions of the resolution; therefore I have vetoed it in its entirety.
It is disappointing that I have been put into a position to have to veto an entire bill that includes a number of provisions that I support simply because certain members of the City Council voted to include last minute provisions that lack detail and/or circumvent state and federal law.
While I am supportive of the bill as originally drafted, and fully support sending many of the measures to voters for their consideration, I cannot in good conscience sign a bill that would impose a tax increase on the people of Albuquerque without any specific plan as to how the taxpayer resources would be spent or a bill that flies in the face of state and federal law as it pertains to illegal drugs.”
It’s pretty despicable that a mayor of any city would rather impose their own personal beliefs on their city’s residents than respect the will of the voters. My first question is when is this guy up for re-election? He clearly needs to be voted out. If the voters voted ‘no’ on Election Day, than so be it. But to say that decriminalization needs to be blocked because of the weak, unfounded ‘it is illegal federally’ argument is s slap in the face to democracy.