Yesterday ProgressNow NM and its executive director Pat Davis’ insisted that they will continue to push their illegal attempt to “decriminalize” marijuana in Albuquerque:
We know some of the names from signers won’t count. Some are illegible, others are from residents who aren’t registered to vote. But most will count and we committed to fighting for everyone to be sure we met our 11,203 goal. Now that we need more than 3,000 more valid signatures and no more time allowed by the city to collect them, the voters who did their part (and campaigners who designed and delivered a campaign to bring in 11,000 names) are left without the election city hall promised.
As we keep meeting with the city, election lawyers and supporters, we’ve set up a legal defense fund to save these pot petitions. We’re organizers, not lawyers so we have to hire a team of experts to stand up for our right to vote.
From last week’s blogpost about ProgressNow NM’s– Pat Davis’ Pot Proposal Goes Up in Smoke (read last week’s entire blogpost here):
[Last] week we saw what can happen when Pat Davis of Progress Now NM doesn’t study up for himself on the quota of required number of signatures. Wouldn’t it have been easy to simply read the laws himself and calculate the number of signatures required?
- A municipality may, by ordinance, prohibit distribution or possession of [marijuana – NMSA 30-31-7(A)(1)(e)] but penalty provisions shall be the same as those provided for a similar crime in the Controlled Substances Act. Any code so adopted shall provide for minimum requirements at least equal to the state requirements on the same subject. [NMSA 30-31-26(B)]
- To convert the offense of possession of marijuana into a civil penalty is in conflict with the state law. A municipality may adopt ordinances that are not inconsistent (“consistent”) with New Mexico laws. “Any other code not in conflict with the laws of New Mexico” [NMSA 3-17-1(C)] and “any code so adopted shall provide for minimum requirements at least equal to the state requirements on the subject.” [NMSA 3-17-6(A)(9)]
- Marijuana possession first offense is a petty misdemeanor while additional offenses are misdemeanors [NMSA 30-31-23(B)]. In New Mexico possession of marijuana is designated as a crime.
- A municipality may, by ordinance prohibit possession of marijuana, but the “penalty provisions shall be the same as those provided for a similar crime in the Controlled Substances Act.” [NMSA 30-31-26]
In short, an attempt at decriminalizing marijuana is contrary to the law and illegal. Poor Pat Davis– his little “get out the vote” stunt, isn’t too legal!!