Sponsor of recreational marijuana bill confident it can still pass

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM.- With just 10 days to go in the 60-day legislative session, two bills that would legalize recreational marijuana are still alive.

Senate Bill 288 and House Bill 12 both passed their first Senate committee Tuesday.

"We’re hopeful that 2021 is the year for cannabis legalization," said Rep. Andrea Romero. "We need this in our state more than ever when we look at how we recover as a state. This is such an incredible tool in the toolbox."

Romero is one of House Bill 12’s sponsors.

She says legalizing recreational marijuana would create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars for the state.

"We’re looking at, in the first even five years, over 11,000 jobs generated," she said. "In the first year, anywhere between 25-50 million in revenue."

House Bill 12, which has the best shot of making it to the governor’s desk, still has to pass another Senate committee before getting a vote on the Senate floor.

Despite the tight deadline, Romero believes the bill has the votes to pass.

"The good news for us is that many of the new senators ran on legalization of adult use cannabis, so we are hoping that they keep their word to their constituents that they are a yes vote," she said. "But we’re always working through the process, counting votes. Just because you’re a Democrat doesn’t mean you’re a yes. Just because you’re a Republican doesn’t mean you’re a no."