Santa Fe, NM - Representative Emily Kane (D- Bernalillo-15) introduced House Bill 465 to reduce penalties for adults who are charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana.  The proposed legislation reduces the penalty structure for possession of up to 4 ounces to a civil penalty with increasing fines, while removing the potential for jail time for any amount up to 8 ounces.

Rep. Kane believes that through good public policy, it is possible to more appropriately use resources and help law enforcement focus on more serious crimes. Removing the threat of jail time allows for penalization, not criminalization, of non-violent offenders. This allows offenders to keep their jobs or continue to attend school after committing minor infractions. This change in penalties will also help with the serious issue of overcrowding in New Mexico correctional facilities.

Rep. Kane makes it clear: this bill does not decriminalize marijuana. Rather, it aims to adjust the penalties for possession of marijuana to a more appropriate level. She hopes this can change the debate on use of marijuana from a criminal issue to a health issue.

"In all my time working on public safety I have responded to hundreds, if not thousands, of 911 calls. More often than not, these calls involve the abuse of alcohol or other illicit drugs. I do not recall a single time where I have responded to a 911 call relating solely to the use of marijuana," said Rep. Kane. "I think the time has come to treat marijuana as a public health issue, not a criminal issue. Our state wastes entirely too much money prosecuting these types of arrests. Treating marijuana use as a criminal issue overcrowds our prisons and wastes valuable law enforcement time and resources."

The Marijuana Arrest Research Program estimates that New Mexico spends upwards of $5 million every year simply arresting persons for possessing small amounts of marijuana and processing their cases. This does not include costs spent on prosecuting and incarcerating offenders. Rep. Kane believes these resources can be better spent on other more pressing issues facing New Mexico.

Rep. Kane expects bipartisan support for her bill, which was co-sponsored by the majority of the Democrat caucus, including Speaker Ken Martinez, House Majority Leader Rick Miera and
House Majority Whip Antonio "Moe" Maestas. HB 465 has been referred to the House Consumer Affairs and Judiciary Committees.
You can read House Bill 465 by clicking here.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com