Updated: Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 5:44 PM MST
Published : Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 5:44 PM MST
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A House committee has approved a proposal to lessen penalties for marijuana possession.
The measure by Democratic Rep. Emily Kane of Albuquerque imposes civil penalty fines on adults convicted a first time of possessing up to four ounces of marijuana. Jail time is eliminated for having up to eight ounces.
Currently it's a petty misdemeanor to have an ounce or less of marijuana and can be punished with fines and jail time — possibly 15 days for a first possession. Possessing more than an ounce and up to a half pound is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
The Consumer and Public Affairs Committee endorsed the bill on a 3-2 vote Tuesday, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans opposed. The proposal goes to another House panel.