It was close, but by a vote of 37-33 the New Mexico House passed legislation removing the possibility of jail time for possession of marijuana. Next, the bill will move to the Senate where it will be assigned to a committee. It will then need to win the support of the majority of committee members, then a majority of the full Senate.
If it passes in the Senate and is not vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez, H.B. 465 would make the first offense for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense, punishable only by a $50 fine. Possession of one to four ounces would also be punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. Second offenses would be petty misdemeanors subject to double the fine amount, but would still carry no risk of jail time. Possession of four to eight ounces would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $300.
If you live in New Mexico, please don’t wait – contact your senator now and urge him or her to support H.B. 465. When you’re done, forward this to your friends who live in New mexico and ask them to do the same.