SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe City Council has voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
City officials said in a news release that the council voted 5-4 Wednesday night to approve the pot ordinance
The measure makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $25. It had been a criminal misdemeanor.
Activists had submitted enough valid voter signatures to force a public vote on the matter.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that with approval, the council hoped to avoid the costs of a vote and the uncertainty of the question even making the November ballot.
The newspaper says the vote makes Santa Fe the first city in the state to decriminalize pot.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com