New Mexico reduces penalties for marijuana possession

New Mexico
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FILE – In this Friday, March 22, 2019 file photo, a participant takes a very smoky puff from a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at “Tommy Chong’s Live, Love, and Smoke Tour hosted by GreenTours in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. Los Angeles prosecutors are joining other California district attorneys to […]

A bill that reduces penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia has been signed by the governor of New Mexico.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Wednesday that makes the possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana a petty misdemeanor.

That would translate into a $50 fine on first offense. The same penalties will apply to possession of drug paraphernalia.

The provisions go into effect July 1.

Possession of large quantities of marijuana can still result in felony charges.

A proposal to legalized recreational marijuana sales and use across New Mexico received House approval but stalled in the state Senate without a floor vote.

Lawmakers also balked at decriminalizing possession of small quantities of other illicit drugs that can result in jail sentences.

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