New Mexico to Become 24th State to Decriminalize Marijuana

Legislation has been signed in New Mexico that will reduce penalties for marijuana from a criminal to civil violation. Those caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana will face a $50 fine rather than jail or prison time. The measure is different than legalizing the drug, which would remove civil and criminal penalties and allow sales. Opponents of legalization were in favor of decriminalization as a way to eliminate costly and punitive policies, but those who advocate for legalization fear that the current legislation keeps the ban on selling marijuana, eliminating a legal source for the drug and allowing criminal organizations to maintain a source of revenue.

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