New Mexico Senate Committee Advances Legislation to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

In an unprecedented move, lawmakers in the New Mexico Senate Committee voted 5-4 on Thursday in favor of a bill that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults age 21 and older.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) was presented by New Mexico Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, and is the next step in a progressive transformation for the state toward sensible marijuana policies.

In 2013, a state-wide poll indicated that a 52 percent majority of New Mexico voters supported recreational legalization. Additionally, citizens and lawmakers have closely watched neighboring Colorado’s legal marijuana market. The Colorado market opened last January and was the first of its kind in the U.S. — since then, Denver crime rates have dropped and Colorado has enjoyed marked increases in employment rates and has collected upwards of $40 million in tax revenue.

Currently, four states and Washington D.C. have passed legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes, 23 states have legalized medical cannabis, and many more have passed some effort toward marijuana policy reform.

Sources:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/02/new-mexicos-marijuana-legalization-resolution-passes-out-senate-rules-committee-histori

Photo Credit: Larry Lamsa

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