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      Santa Fe becomes NM's first city to decriminalize pot

      New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's office says Santa Fe is within its right to decriminalize marijuana and it has no plans to challenge the city's new ordinance.

      New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's office says Santa Fe is within its right to decriminalize marijuana and it has no plans to challenge the city's new ordinance.

      Phil Sisneros, a spokesman for King, said Thursday that the attorney general supports decriminalizing marijuana laws and believes Santa Fe acted within its authority.

      Those comments come after Santa Fe city councilors voted 5-4 this week to decriminalize marijuana, making the city the first in New Mexico to make possession of small amounts of pot a civil infraction.

      The new ordinance makes possession of an ounce or less punishable by a fine of no more than $25. Previously, it was a criminal misdemeanor.

      King, a Democrat, is running for governor against Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican.