A special session is taking place in New Mexico to try and fix the state’s $200 million budget deficit. Examples from Colorado publications, such as the creation of 18,000 jobs in the marijuana industry, are likely to be brought up. Colorado has also seen no increase in youth marijuana use.
Colorado has brought in $198 million in marijuana tax revenue, according to Las Cruces Sun-News. Increases of violent crime haven’t occurred in Colorado but break-ins at marijuana businesses have increased. There has not been a change of teen use, and calls to poison control centers have dropped. Emergency room visits in Colorado due to marijuana use, or over use, have dropped 27-percent.
In New Mexico, about 3,000 young adults are arrested on marijuana charges. Some lawmakers see recreational marijuana as an opportunity for farmers to use hemp as a cash crop and may reduce the costs of prosecution and incarceration for marijuana offenders.
Recent polls show that 57-percent of U.S. physicians support recreational marijuana legalization. Polls also show that 63-percent of the public supports recreational legalization. When it comes to lawmakers, only 7-percent of Governors and 4-percent of Legislators support legal recreational marijuana.
Now seems to be a good time for New Mexico to give recreational marijuana another look. It could help reduce unemployment numbers, increase tax revenues and stabilize local economies – including communities that are struggling hard financially.