People caught with small amounts of marijuana in New Mexico could get off the hook with just a fine if a new bill makes it past the state’s House. The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow offenders to pay a mere $50 instead of spending time behind bars for possession of marijuana.

Senate Bill 258, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, cleared with 33-9 votes between Republicans and Democrats. Under the new measure, offenders caught with up to a half an ounce of marijuana would face charges similar to that of a speeding ticket in New Mexico, which means they’d have the option to pay a $50 fine or challenge the citation in court.

Although patients have been able to possess prescribed medical marijuana in New Mexico without proper identification, first-time offenders discovered with an ounce or less of pot could face misdemeanor charges that include 15-day jail sentences and $100 fines while second-time offenders could face a year behind bars. Possession of more than an ounce could land a person in jail from one to 18 years with fines as high as $15,000.

Supporters of the bill, including Cervantes, said decriminalizing marijuana could ease some of the burdens faced by the state's overwhelmed criminal justice department, according to reports.

“We have a serious crime problem in our state, and our courts, judges, and prosecutors are spending a great deal of time dealing with people charged with a nonviolent crime,” Cervantes told local media.

However, even if the bill was passed by the House, it could still face a roadblock if it reaches Gov. Susana Martinez’s desk. The governor has a long history of opposing drug legalization of any kind.

In an email to the Santa Fe New Mexican, a spokesperson for the governor said: “As a career prosecutor, Governor Martinez saw firsthand the damage drugs do to our families and communities. She’s opposed to legalizing drugs – and that includes decriminalizing weed.”