Recreational marijuana bill stalls as legislative session nears a close
March 15, 2019 06:54 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico will not make it to the governor’s desk.
The bill got stuck in its final Senate committee before it could get a full floor vote.
Sen. John Arthur Smith, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, decided not to give the bill a hearing because he said there weren't enough votes for it to pass.
“Quite frankly, I'm not certain we're the appropriate committee to begin with so that wasn't my determination,” Smith said. “I guess they were sent there ultimately because of the financial impact."
However, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf felt the bill would have passed if it was given a committee hearing.
“I think the votes are there on the floor to pass it in the Senate and it's basically boiling down to whether or not the Senate Finance Committee wants to give it a hearing,” Egolf said. “I think if he does, it will pass.”
Despite the bill not getting through this legislative session, Speaker Egolf is looking on the bright side.
“I think we got really far and sometimes these bills, you just have to kind of keep at it year after year and when we look at the creation of the medical cannabis program, that wasn't done in a single year either,” Egolf said. “It followed a path very similar to the one recreational cannabis is on. It came back year after year after year. I think it took three or four sessions to finally get it done."
Updated: March 15, 2019 06:54 PM
Created: March 15, 2019 06:50 PM
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