Lesser Marijuana Possession Penalties Proposed

Feb 8, 2013

An Albuquerque lawmaker proposes lessening penalties for possession of marijuana in New Mexico.

Democratic Rep. Emily Kane, who is a firefighter, introduced a measure Thursday to impose civil penalty fines on adults convicted a first time of possessing up to four ounces of marijuana. Possible jail time would be eliminated for having up to eight ounces.

It's a petty misdemeanor currently to have up to an ounce of marijuana. That's punishable by six months in jail. It's a misdemeanor — with up to a year in jail — to possess more than an ounce and up to a half pound.

Democratic Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque is proposing to have a state agency study marijuana legalization, including how much money would be collected if New Mexico taxed it.