New Mexico House approves marijuana decriminalization bill
Santa Fe, New Mexico: Although we previously reported on a New Mexico Senator looking to propose an amendment to decriminalize marijuana on January 28, it was the New Mexico House of Representatives that acted and passed a marijuana decriminalization bill. Emily Kane (D) sponsored the legislation that passed by a 37-33 vote. The prior law in New Mexico makes possessing up to one ounce of the drug a petty misdemeanor with fines and minor jail time, while anything up to eight ounces is a misdemeanor with heftier fines and up to a year in jail. Kane's bill makes possession of up to four ounces a civil penalty with fines between $50 and $300, and eliminates jail sentences for possession of up to 8 ounces. The bill must still pass the New Mexico State Senate before heading to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk, but as a former prosecutor and district attorney, many expect her to veto the bill.