A first for New Mexico: Recreational pot bill clears House committee
February 06, 2017 06:52 PM
A bill calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana cleared a state House committee for the first time in New Mexico history.
House Bill 89 would legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, regulate it, and tax it. It would also make it legal for someone who is licensed to manufacture and sell marijuana to a person 21 years of age or older.
The bill still has a long way to go before it even has a chance of becoming law, but supporters say this is a big step in the right direction. Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, said other states that have legalized recreational marijuana have seen their economies flourish as a result.
"So we go to another committee. And we'll be taking our message of we should do this now rather than later," McCamley said. "We should create jobs now. We should take money away from drug dealers now. We should fund education now rather than waiting, however, [the] many years this will take. This is going to happen. The people want it. It's working in other states. Let's do it now and get all the benefits sooner rather than later."
The bill now moves on to its second House committee before it can go up for a vote in the house. If it passes the House, it then moves to the senate.
Gov. Susana Martinez maintains she does not support legalizing marijuana. Even if the bill passes both legislative chambers, she will likely veto it if it winds up on her desk.
There is also a second identical bill that's been introduced in the Senate. So far it hasn't been heard by a committee.
Updated: February 06, 2017 06:52 PM
Created: February 06, 2017 04:35 PM
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