Cannabis Will Be Decriminalized In Albuquerque In Time For 4/20

Cannabis is set to be decriminalized in Albuquerque, New Mexico this week, as city mayor Tim Keller (D) has signed legislation that replaces the current criminal marijuana ordinance and replaces it with a $25 fine.

"Decriminalized adult use of cannabis is common-sense public policy. Having tried once before to pass it, I appreciate Councilor Davis’ leadership and Mayor Keller’s support this time around," Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton (D) said on the city's official website.

"Nearly 100 years ago the same anti-immigrant narratives we hear today were used to demonize marijuana and make it a tool to oppress individuals of color, which continues to this day," said Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis (D). "As the country moves towards righting this wrong, it’s time to tell our officers to stop wasting your time on small marijuana offenses and concentrate on addressing our violent crime and auto theft."

This decision falls in line with the state Democratic Party's platform of cannabis legalization on a state level as well as several other cities in New Mexico that have decriminalized the substance.

The new decriminalization measure will go into effect just in time for the 4/20 festivities in Albuquerque.

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Proponents of the War on Drugs often claim that it's about keeping communities safe. But US drug laws are based less on public health and more on social control, according to Diane Goldstein—Chair of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). "I think what's critically important is that most Americans recognize that, inherently, our drug laws have never been about public health," Goldstein told Civilized.