A New Mexico Bill to Legalize Marijuana passed the House Committee moving the issue forward in a state that shares its borders with Arizona and Colorado, both states that have successful marijuana policies. As many of our readers know, 8 states have legalized marijuana. During the 2016 election in November, the people of California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to make marijauna legal for adult use, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
According to KRWG, a public media outlet for Southern New Mexico, a bill to legalize, tax, and safely regulate marijuana passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee by a vote of 3 to 1. House Bill 89 (HB 89) would open New Mexico to the $35 billion marijuana industry and create a major new stream of revenue for our ailing economy. The revenue from this act would fund public schools, substance abuse programs, public safety, and the public defenders office. The act would legalize the social use of marijuana for adults aged 21 or over.
This would help New Mexico to join the 8 states who have already legalized recreational/adult use cannabis sales and (hopefully) the countless others that will follow in the next several years. However, as we cannabis legalization activists know, there is a long road between the place where this bill is in the legal system and the law (and policy reform) coming to fruition.
Republican Susana Martinez is the Governor of New Mexico and has been reported as being one of the several politicians in our country who does not support legalization. So, even if the New Mexico Legislature approves the Bill, the Governor might very well veto it. Overriding a veto is always possible, though, and supporters of this Bill could contact NORML or Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
New Mexico State Representative Bill McCamley is HB 89’s sponsor. The article on KRWG reports him as saying “There’s not a single thing that we can do to add more jobs to our state’s economy right now than this. We are talking about over $400 million injected into the legal business community. We are talking about more money for the state and less money for drug dealers. This is a no-brainer. If we want less crime, better schools, and a healthier state, let’s stop our outdated prohibition laws and do this right.” Supporters can contact Rep. McCamley here.