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Santa Fe Marijuana Decriminalization Effort Certified


santa fe new mexico marijuanaVoters in Santa Fe, New Mexico could be voting on a marijuana decriminalization measure this November. The Santa Fe City Clerk certified that enough signatures have been gathered and verified for the marijuana reform initiative. Now the initiative goes to the Santa Fe City Council where they can either adopt it outright, or place it on the ballot for voters to decide. Per Fire Dog Lake:

If approved the measure would make possession of under an ounce of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia the lowest priority for the Santa Fe Police Department and punishable with simply a $25 fine under local law. Currently, a first offense for marijuana possession can result in a fine of up to $100 and up to 15 days in jail.

The prospects for the measure look good. Statewide polling last year found that 57 percent of New Mexico voters favored decriminalizing marijuana for adults and the city of Santa Fe tends to be more liberal than the state as a whole.

I love to see local reform efforts. Obviously a statewide initiative would be better, but New Mexico does not have a statewide initiative process. If/when this local initiative passes, I hope to see other municipalities do the same thing. If enough local reform efforts succeed, it increases the chances of the New Mexico Legislature stepping up and reforming marijuana laws statewide. This is a strategy that every state should be pursuing if there isn’t a statewide initiative process, or if a statewide victory is hard to achieve. Once city at a time, one county at a time, one state at a time until marijuana laws are reformed nationwide.


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Johnny Green


  1. Santa Fe outlawed the Friday night art gallerys’ open house, where wine was had and gallery streets were places to sip and talk. Around 2005. This shutdown was unwise, both socially and financially, and took some of the Santa Fe fun that draws people to it. Cannabis of course is more introverted – you never see weed alone causing problems to a degree that alcohol can. But the mix of the two can be amusing of course, especially where art is involved. Why, one time in the Philadelphia Art Museum on hashish… so we are witnessing a major societal shift, and I can easily envision a time when folks can gather around its art houses and open their minds, dig the art, laugh, and kind of come together. This tidal wave will crash upon rocks here and there, but it will keep seeping into life to where anyone who wants it can have it. Not everyone likes it. It must be

  2. ABQ Mayor Berry already said he would veto. I applaud the ABQ City Council for passing the measure. And I vote YES on the leaf balloon.

  3. And if the mayor doesn’t veto the City Council’s ballot initiative, Albuquerque gets to vote for decriminalization too. Unfortunately, Governor Susana Martinez is dead set against these initiatives, and state politicians are feverishly working to change the laws on how ballot initiatives are done. Governor Martinez feels marijuana should be left up to the legislature (you know, the one she — and corporate interests — control).

    (Now, if someone would just create a hot-air balloon for the International Balloon Fiesta in October with a huge green leaf on it…)

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