Michelle Luján Grisham Promises Marijuana Legalization in 2020
New Mexico Governor Michelle Luján Grisham (D) said she will add a proposal next year to make New Mexico the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. A bipartisan proposal to legalize recreational cannabis through state-run stores narrowly won state House approval this year but stalled in the Senate. It was the first time a recreational marijuana bill passed a chamber of the NM state Legislature. The state House did, however, reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, passing a measure that would impose a $50 fine on someone caught for the first time with up to half an ounce of marijuana. The offense would also be considered a civil citation instead of a criminal misdemeanor. Another bill expands medical marijuana access and puts in place legal protections for employees or job applicants who use medical marijuana. Both bills now await a signature from Luján Grisham, who is expected to approve them. She assured constituents that next year’s 30-day session will include the issue of legalization. According to a 2016 Drug Policy survey, 69% of New Mexico residents support the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults. Supporters say taxing and regulating marijuana would create a predictable and significant revenue stream for the state. More here.