Santa Fe City Council Votes to Decriminalize MJ
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Santa Fe City Council Votes to Decriminalize MJ
Posted by CN Staff on August 28, 2014 at 10:23:02 PT
By Josepk Kolb
Source: Reuters
New Mexico -- Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November.The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor.
The new regulation, which takes effect in 30 days, reduces criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail into an as yet undetermined civil citation penalty.The council had been expected merely to seek a vote in November after pro-marijuana activists obtained thousands of petition signatures and a five-member county commission approved the ballot measure on Tuesday. Instead, city lawmakers opted to change the statute outright. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales cast a dissenting vote on Wednesday, despite supporting the change, saying he thought the issue should have been put to the public."I have been in favor of decriminalization all along, I just wanted this to be on the November ballot in order for the citizens to make the decision," Gonzales told Reuters.Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director for the drug-law reform group Drug Policy Alliance, had also hoped for a broader vote, but said: "It still is an historic win for us all."Kaltenbach said activists obtained some 11,000 signatures and that her internal polling showed more than 70 percent of Santa Fe residents supported decriminalization.Santa Fe, a city of some 70,000 residents about 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque, is the latest U.S. city to take steps towards decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, still banned by the federal government.Washington D.C. earlier this year decriminalized possession of less than one ounce. Colorado and Washington state have gone further, legalizing recreational marijuana use in voter initiatives in 2012.(Reporting by Joseph Kolb in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Crispian Balmer)Source: Reuters (Wire)Author: Josepk KolbPublished: August 28, 2014Copyright: 2014 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Universer on August 29, 2014 at 22:21:50 PT
Chalk up two more, this time in Michigan
I'm feeling a wee bit too lazy to perform the necessary clicks to check details, but I do believe I saw come across my Facebook feed earlier this eve a note about two small Michigan towns voting municipally to decriminalize an ounce.Yes, I know decrim ain't re-leg and I know an ounce ain't a big stash and I know Oak Park, Mich., ain't Washington, D.C., but I know another positive step when I see one, and I just saw two in one day.Keep it up keep it up keep it up up up. Beware the cornered animals; their rabidity is already showing.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 28, 2014 at 20:55:20 PT
Any excuse will do if all you want is control.
Also, it is the vanishing revenue syndrome.btw, I was standing in the ticket line behind a traveling proton yesterday. The ticket agent asked him if he had luggage?No, he answered, "I am traveling light!
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on August 28, 2014 at 12:04:03 PT
this is nice, but...
it's 2014, isn't time to move forward? Just get rid of all penalties for simple possession.I think we need to fight the idea that cannabis users need to be singled out for special treatment. Nuisance fees and fines are harassment and have no place in an open society.The cannabis community doesn't need any laws at all, we need to be left alone.  The best thing for governments to do is to simply strike the cannabis laws from the books.  Just like it was for the 300 years of American history before prohibition.
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