The marijuana decriminalization item did get on the ballot in Albuquerque.  There has been some confusion on this matter due to the history, albeit brief, of the item.

Marijuana Policy Reform Finally on the Ballot in AlbuquerqueAs many know, there was a pretty strong push to get a ballot measure on the ballot by way of petition.  The petition fell short of the number of signatures necessary.

Following the failed petition drive, the Albuquerque City Council voted to put a measure on the ballot.

In response, the Secretary of State filed suit to remove the item from the ballot. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the Secretary of State lacked the authority to remove a local ballot item.  As a result of the ruling, the ballot item will be included on the Albuquerque ballots.

What is the Item?

The marijuana item will be in the form of an Advisory Question.  FYI, it is Advisory Question 1 near the end of the ballot.  So if you have an opinion on the matter, stick with the ballot to the end.

The item will not result in the decriminalization of marijuana.  It is really a more of a public poll.  Here is the actual item:

Advisory Question 1

Are you in favor of the Bernalillo County Commission Supporting County, City and Statewide efforts to decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana?

Does it Matter?

Although the item will not result in the legalization of marijuana, it is important that lawmakers hear from the public one way or the other.  If Albuquerque follows national trends, the poll should come down on the side of decriminalization.

Perhaps, the item will have no immediate bearing on the legality of marijuana in Albuquerque, but it should send a message to the powers overseeing this regarding the wishes of the public.  So it may not have immediate consequences, but it may very well set the stage for decriminalization in Albuquerque in the future.

Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe have marijuana ballot items.  As goes Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it seems fairly likely that the much of the rest of New Mexico will follow suit.

Go Vote!

This is an important election for many reasons.  The marijuana item is just one of many important items on the ballot.  Make your voice heard.

Early voting has begun in Albuquerque.  The Bernalillo County Clerk has made it very easy for voters to cast their vote with early voting centers all around the city.   There is one near you, probably within minutes.

There is no excuse not to vote.  And if you fail to make your voice known at the ballot, you will have no voice at all.  So go vote!