Legislation to potentially legalize adult-use cannabis in New Mexico has successfully passed the Health and Human Services committee of the New Mexico state legislature, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
House Bill 356 passed the committee on a 5-2 vote in favor.
“Prohibition simply does not work, and the country is coming to the realization of that.” — State Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), via the Albuquerque Journal
The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Maestas and four other New Mexico House Democrats. Some Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation, and some moderate Democrats have historically helped block previous cannabis legislation in the state. A decision will need to be made by mid-March for the bill to have a chance to pass before the end of the legislative session.
Beyond legalization, the legislation stipulates:
- Taxation of up to 19 percent on cannabis sales. The taxes would be earmarked for health, law enforcement, and research programs.
- Cities and counties will be able to opt out of sales
- Prior criminal records for cannabis crimes would be expunged
Before the bill can be considered by the full state House of Representatives, the bill must also clear the House Judiciary Committee. If that happens, and then the bill receives House approval, it would go to the Senate for consideration before eventually landing on the governor’s desk.
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