NM to begin push to legalize recreational marijuana | KOB 4
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NM to begin push to legalize recreational marijuana

Nathan O'Neal
July 08, 2019 10:09 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The push to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in New Mexico is getting a kick start this week.

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On Wednesday, industry officials and policy experts will meet for the first time to begin crafting proposals to move legalization legislation forward.

The task force was recently created by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to develop the proposals that will ultimately be incorporated into legislation. The task force essentially gives lawmakers a head-start on the 2020 legislative session which begins in January.

“There are open questions about how legalization can work best for New Mexico. This group will answer those questions, and we will arrive at the next session prepared,” said Lujan Grisham in a statement.

Cannabis industry advocates will be highly involved in the process along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, public safety officials and other stakeholders.

“I would say that New Mexico today is closer than it’s ever been to full adult-use recreational cannabis in New Mexico,” said Ben Lewinger, executive director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. “I think there’s a real opportunity to not make the same mistakes other states have made and be very proactive.”

Lewinger said he has high hopes the work done by the task force over the next few months will forge a path for lawmakers.

“What’s going to be the most challenging is New Mexico has a really sophisticated medical cannabis program and I think the challenge is how to pass a clean adult-use bill legislatively – which, there’s only been one state to do it, Illinois – while still protecting the medical program and its patients,” Lewinger said.

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Nathan O'Neal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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