New Mexico Senate Pushing For Recreational Marijuana Vote Later This Year

A new resolution (SJR4) just passed through the New Mexico senate to allow possession and consumption of recreational marijuana for anyone over the age 21 in the state. The bill would need to be voted on by the people of New Mexico later this year and still needs to pass through more branches of the state government.

New Mexico may not have any problem passing the measure if it makes it to the ballot box later this year. Polls have shown a lot of support for the legalization of cannabis. The measure also includes creating an infrastructure for the retail sale and taxation of adult-use marijuana.

New MexicoOn a vote of 4-3 New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino’s (D-12-Bernalillo) Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJR4) passed the Senate Rules Committee February 2. Senators Lopez, Ortiz y Pino, Ivey-Soto, and Steinborn all voted in favor of the resolution; Senators Papen, Moores, and Pirtle voted against.

“Today’s vote sets in motion the process to put the issue on a 2018 statewide ballot for voters,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance.

“Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed. It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in mass criminalization, appalling racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste. Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution will allow our legislature to rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms.”

Polling data from 2016 shows New Mexicans’ attitudes towards changes in marijuana policy have shifted. Results show a 60 percent majority of New Mexicans polled are in favor of reforming current marijuana laws.

If New Mexico passes the resolution, it would become the ninth state along with the District of Columbia to legalize recreational marijuana sales. Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey are also all working on legalizing cannabis for adult-use. Do you think that in part the senate is pushing through this resolution because it is tired of losing out on the revenue that its northern neighbor, Colorado, might be getting from New Mexico residents?


Leave a Reply