In what could be one of the closest yet votes, the New Mexico House has approved legal recreational use for adults. The House passed the Cannabis Regulation Act 32-30.
The regulations which were passed are a mix of regulations known from Colorado and the Canadian model. The possible 11th state to approve of recreational use would require that legal marijuana is sold only in state-operated dispensaries.
Rep. Javier Martinez who is the bill’s main sponsor celebrated the vote in the House with a passionate message.
“Legalizing and regulating the cannabis industry is the single most important thing we can do to dismantle international drug trades”
“The ‘War on Drugs’ hasn’t worked; the fight against those who are trafficking drugs into our country begins with legalization and regulation. This is our chance to lead the nation with a framework that protects medical cannabis patients, ensures public safety, and advances social justice for low income, communities of color.”
— Rep. Javier Martinez
The bill is expected to also pass the state’s Senate, that due to concessions made to the Republicans. Martinez’ statement was further appended by the Senator Cliff Pirtle, one of the experts advising on the bill as well.
“With the legalization of cannabis on the horizon, the [New Mexico] legislature, in a bi-partisan effort, moved this issue forward.”
“Many concerns were debated in regards to cannabis, and this bill addresses many of those concerns. This bill is the best example of a balance of freedom and regulation that now has a good chance of passing the Senate.”
The state-run shops being one of the concessions to the GOP. Yet, there could be an opportunity for private store operators if there is no local state-run dispensary available, due to the bill not having an exclusion on such operation.
Adults will be allowed to have 2 ounces of flower and 16 grams of hash. Home growers can apply for a private license, which will allow 12 plants per household. Additionally people will be allowed to travel with 6 mature plants too.
Six plants, 2 ounce cured... growing in the van, @davedickeyyall?
The bill was also supported by the Drug Policy Alliance who were quick to point out that the vote in the House was a bipartisan effort. The DPA’s State Director, Emily Kaltenback, was confident that not only did the bill make sense from a business angle, but also catered to the New Mexican community and citizens thanks to the inclusion of kids protection, improved legal access or those requiring cannabis medically, and also the promise to reinvest revenue from the legalized market in the communities needing it most and hit hardest by the war on drugs.
“This legislation is responsive to the lives of New Mexicans, not solely business interests.”
“HB 356 directs reinvestment into communities most harmed by prohibition, harm that has fallen hardest on Hispanic/Latino, Black and Native populations in New Mexico. Repairing the damage done by cannabis prohibition is not negotiable and HB 356 includes provisions that do just this.”
— Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico State Drug Policy Alliance Director
As usual we can but celebrate yet another positive evolution and we hope that within a foreseeable time we will be able to write “All 52 states of the USA have now legalized adult use of marijuana”, if not before that already “The USA President has descheduled marijuana federally”.