The biggest hurdle that some New Mexico lawmakers see is getting a recreational marijuana measure on the ballot. They need support from more of their fellow lawmakers. The goal of those backing the legislation say the goal of the bill is to regulate and legalize marijuana.
Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino is behind the legalization efforts, and he believes that legalization will boost the state’s economy, according to KRQE News 13. The senator has made attempts to legalize recreational marijuana for several years. He hasn’t had a successful attempt yet, but he’s hoping that the 2018 legislative session will bring open minds to the table.
Senator Ortiz y Pino said, “What we would hope is to regulate it and therefore control it more effectively.”
Two democrats opposed the Senator’s legislation in the 2017 session, which forced the committee to table the issue. Their reason – they both knew people that have drug problems. The goal of the bill, Senator Ortiz y Pino said, is not to “enable drug addicts”.
He said, “Legalizing marijuana wouldn’t make it more available. It’s already available. Any high school kid worth their salt can find marijuana within a half-hour.”
To get the measure on the ballot for voters to decide, Ortiz y Pino needs a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate. The good news for voters is – the governor isn’t part of this process.
Ronald Padilla said, “Tax-wise, the state will make money. I mean, it’s a win-win for everybody I should say.”
Jimmy Moya said, “It’s going to benefit the state a lot of they realize legalizing marijuana would help out.”
If voters get the opportunity to vote on recreational marijuana in 2018, bills regarding regulation would be introduced in early 2019 to get the ball rolling.