New Mexico cannabis backers tout increasing national assistance | Nearby News


A new Pew Analysis Center survey shows two-thirds of Americans now assistance legalizing marijuana for recreational use, a timely backdrop to an impending legalization push in New Mexico.

Legalizing recreational marijuana is a single of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s leading priorities for the legislative session beginning in January and is a measure supported by other lawmakers.

“The Pew survey is national in scope but captures what we think is the attitude in New Mexico toward cannabis legalization,” Judy Gibbs Robinson, a spokeswoman for the governor, mentioned in an e mail. “But assistance for the problem is only a single piece of the equation we will need to guarantee New Mexicans’ expectations for legalization, regarding public security and financial properly-becoming and social justice amongst other variables, are met.

“We’re optimistic a credible proposal to legalize recreational cannabis will materialize ahead of the session,” Robinson added.

Combined with supporters of legalization for health-related use, an overwhelming 91 % of Americans assistance legalization in some kind, according to Pew’s September survey. The newest outcomes come amid a decadeslong trend of growing public assistance for marijuana, which rose from about 12 % in 1969 to 67 % in 2019, according to Pew.

New Mexico legalized marijuana for medicinal use in 2007. Recreational backers right here say the survey adds credence to lawmakers’ push to greenlight it much more broadly in the upcoming, 30-day legislative session.

A policy advisory panel assembled by the governor issued a report in October that suggested expunging marijuana possession convictions and outlined policy tips on labeling, testing, licensing costs, taxes and funding law enforcement with marijuana cash, amongst other challenges.

A legal, adult-use marketplace in New Mexico would produce much more than 13,000 new jobs, $850 million in annual sales and $100 million in annual income for state and nearby governments, according to the report.

The projections are estimates primarily based on an assumption that the recreational marketplace would create in 5 years to six occasions the size of the state’s Healthcare Cannabis System — which now serves about 75,000 individuals.

The prospective monetary boon was a single of proponents’ crucial arguments to lawmakers earlier this week in the course of an advisory financial improvement panel presented with Lujan Grisham’s marijuana panel report suggestions.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Thirty-3 states and D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also have legalized it for health-related use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

For supporters, the Pew survey is one more sign that it is time to legalize recreational marijuana. But not absolutely everyone is lauding the legalization push.

State Rep. Martin Zamora, a Clovis Republican who is an advisory member of the interim Financial and Rural Improvement Committee, mentioned he remains staunchly opposed. Other lawmakers, which includes state Rep. James Townsend, R-Artesia, also stay against any recreational cannabis proposal.

Townsend, the Residence Republican leader, mentioned that even though national assistance for legalization has continued to climb, voters in his district stay mainly opposed.

“I feel it can have a spot in a medicinal function,” he mentioned. “But I’m nonetheless opposed to it on a recreational level.”

Albuquerque lawyer and New Mexico Cannabis Law Section chair Carlos Martinez mentioned he’s not shocked national polling shows two-thirds of Americans in assistance of recreational marijuana. But he mentioned he thinks New Mexico nonetheless desires much more time to bring sufficient lawmakers on board.

“I do not feel we’re gonna get it performed in a 30-day session. It is a fantastic start off for the 2021 session,” Martinez mentioned.

While the public may perhaps have “moved way beyond debating” recreational marijuana, “a legislative remedy creates a messy and delayed pathway to the inevitability of fulfilling the of course clear public mandate for legalization nowadays,” mentioned Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of Ultra Overall health, the biggest health-related marijuana business in the state.

Rodriguez mentioned it “would currently be a reality” in New Mexico if the state permitted public referendums, which is how legalization efforts have occurred in most other states that have had them.

State Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, mentioned the public has “been ahead of politicians on this problem for some time” and criticized colleagues who oppose recreational use.

He added New Mexico will “have the most effective cannabis bill in the nation.”


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