ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A federal court is to consider whether it will referee a legal fight over New Mexico’s largest county trying to place nonbinding questions over marijuana and taxes on the November general election ballot.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen has scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon in a dispute between Bernalillo County and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
The county has approved advisory ballot questions to ask voters whether they support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana and favor a tax for mental health services.
But Duran contends state law doesn’t allow advisory ballot questions that poll voters and don’t have the force of law.
The county has asked the state Supreme Court to resolve the dispute, but Duran wants the federal court to handle the case.