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Aug 28, 2014 6:21 AM by AP

Santa Fe City Council votes to decriminalize pot

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.

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