Recreational pot question could come up again in Legislature | KOB 4
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Recreational pot question could come up again in Legislature

Chris Ramirez and Joseph Lynch
December 27, 2017 06:53 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Could 2018 be the year New Mexico legalizes recreational marijuana? The debate is expected to come up again in the upcoming legislative session.

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Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque is again trying to change the state's constitution to legalize recreational marijuana. It's not the first time this idea has been introduced.

Here's the premise of it:

  1. In the 2018 legislative session, both the House and the Senate must agree with majority votes to give New Mexico voters the ability to vote on the constitutional amendment. If both chambers agree, it moves to the next step.
  2. In November 2018, the same time New Mexico votes for a new governor, ballots across the state would have a question asking if the state should change the constitution to allow recreational marijuana. If voters say yes, it moves.
  3. During the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers would have to create laws that govern how recreational marijuana is produced, processed, transported, sold and taxed in New Mexico.

This idea would never go to the governor for signing. It instead goes directly to voters.

THREE LAWS PASSED IN 2017 TAKE EFFECT JAN. 1

During the 2017 session, lawmakers passed 140 new state laws. All but three of those have already taken effect. The remainder goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Practically all the laws that passed during the 2017 legislature are well into play throughout New Mexico. The Legislature even saw several laws go into effect after first being vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez. She didn’t give reasons for her vetoes, so they went into effect anyway. The most controversial of those pertaining to the research of industrial hemp.

But as of Jan. 1, New Mexicans will see a difference in fiduciary access to digital assets. New real estate licensure requirements for brokers all around New Mexico go into effect.

Probably the biggest and the one that effects the most New Mexicans is the Installment Loan Fees and Literacy Fund. It places a cap on the amount of interest that can be charged to customers. The old laws dated back to 1955 and 1959, long before so-called predatory lenders existed. That law also hopes to educate would be consumers to the possibility of having to pay back a loan at an interest of 36 percent. 

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Chris Ramirez and Joseph Lynch

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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