New Mexico Legalization Polls Offer Conflicting Results

Different polls in New Mexico found opposite results when weighing the state’s enthusiasm for cannabis legalization. Lawmakers are meeting to discuss potential reforms next week.

Full story after the jump.

Two New Mexico polls regarding cannabis legalization in the state found conflicting results as lawmakers plan to meet next week to discuss potential reforms, according to a KOAT report. A poll by Emerson College conducted for prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana found 63 percent of voters oppose broad cannabis legalization in the state, while a poll commissioned by the governor-established Cannabis Legalization Working Group found 75 percent of voters support the reforms.

SAM formulated the questions for the Emerson poll, which asked what policies respondents favored rather than what policies they approve or disapprove, according to KOB 4. Pat Davis, chairman of the Cannabis Legalization Working Group, warned that SAM “has an agenda” and framed their questions in a way which “assumes that all these horrible things that people have assumed about cannabis for years come to reality.”

Davis said that the poll commissioned by the governor’s working group asked questions in ways consistent with how the questions were phrased in previous polls.

Kevin Sabet, president of SAM, defended the poll commissioned by his organization, saying “there is more nuance to marijuana policy than either full commercialization or full prohibition.”

In October, the working group released its legalization report, finding that New Mexico could see $63 million in new state and local taxes following year one, and nearly $94 million by year five – under an average tax rate of 17 percent. The group estimates first-year sales would reach $318 million and increase to $620 million by year five in a market with 468,000 consumers. The report estimates 13,000 jobs and calls for local control, expungement, and social equity.

The group also suggested a low-income medical cannabis patient subsidy program which would grow to $7 million by its fifth year

New Mexico lawmakers are expected to consider cannabis legalization legislation this session.

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