SANTA FE — Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber and members of the City Council want to send a message to the state Legislature when it convenes in January for a 60-day session under a new governor: legalize weed and get a grip on gun reform.
Mayor Webber is introducing two resolutions that are scheduled to come before the City Council for approval on Nov. 14 that urges state lawmakers to take action on those issues during the 2019 legislative session.
Three of the eight city councilors — Joanne Vigil Coppler, Mike Harris and Peter Ives — have signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution that calls for the “legalization, decriminalization and/or regulation of cannabis and cannabis-related products for recreational use.”
The resolution notes that nine states and the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational cannabis, including Colorado, which has generated $817 million from taxes, licenses and fees from recreational sales since February 2014, much of it going to public schools.
The resolution also notes that the City Council in 2014 gave the city police the option issuing civil citations for possession of 1-ounce or less by ordinance, instead of filing criminal charges, and also declared pot possession “the lowest law enforcement priority.”
The mayor’s other resolution — co-sponsored by councilors Harris and Ives — urges the Legislature to adopt comprehensive “common sense” gun violence prevention laws, with cited examples including prohibiting domestic violence offenders under protective orders from purchasing a firearm, banning the sale of bumpstocks and holding parents or guardians of minors who gain access to firearms liable.
The resolution states that if the Legislature doesn’t have the “political will” to pass such laws, it should at least consider legislation to amend the state constitution to allow local governments to adopt their own gun measures in the interest of public safety.