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Albuquerque council nixes veto of repeal of plastic bag ban

April 5, 2022 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque City Council has voted to uphold a previous decision to repeal an ordinance banning grocery stores and other retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags.

The council voted last month to eliminate the ban, prompting a veto by Mayor Tim Keller, but the council’s 6-3 vote Monday night overrides Keller’s veto.

Supporters of the ban cited environmental reasons. Opponents said it inconvenienced shoppers.

The ban took effect Jan. 1, 2020 after being approved by the council in 2019 following extensive public debate and comment, but enforcement was suspended during much of the pandemic.

The council also authorized creation of marijuana smoking lounges though public consumption of marijuana would remain illegal. A state law legalizing recreational marijuana took effect Friday.

In other action, a move to override Keller’s veto of legislation preventing the city from requiring its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 failed. Keller’s administration hadn’t imposed a vaccination mandate.