Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November.

The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor.

The new regulation, which takes effect in 30 days, reduces criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail into an as yet undetermined civil citation penalty.

The council had been expected merely to seek a vote in November after pro-marijuana activists obtained thousands of petition signatures and a five-member county commission approved the ballot measure on Tuesday.

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