New Mexico: Push to decriminalize marijuana faces uphill battle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A push to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in Albuquerque does not appear to have much of a chance of becoming law.

The City Council passed the measure Monday night 5-4 along party lines with Democrats in favor of it, but not before generating a bit of debate between both sides.

"You knew it was illegal, you smoked it, you were caught, you pay the penalty," said Republican City Council member Trudy Jones.

Democratic City Council member Rey Garduno argued an officer would have the flexibility to make sure it's a decriminalized penalty rather than an incarceration.

Mayor Richard Berry said he plans to veto the measure, however, and if he does the City Council would need six votes to override it. That means at least one Republican councilor would have to jump sides.

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