New Mexico Senators File Two Marijuana Legalization Bills, With More On The Way


The first slate of what’s expected to be several bills to legalize marijuana in New Mexico this year were introduced on Monday. A Republican senator is sponsoring one of the newly filed bills, while the other is being sponsored by a Democrat in the chamber. But because neither piece of legislation comprehensively addresses social equity issues, advocates are holding out hope for a separate House bill that’s expected to be formally introduced as early as Tuesday. Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R), who filed a legalization bill in 2019 that would have established a state-run market, put out a new proposal that would create a private commercial industry. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to two ounces of marijuana. Home cultivation would not be permitted. Cannabis “lounges” could be licensed by regulators, however. A two percent excise tax would be imposed on retail marijuana sales, in addition to local gross receipt taxes, under the bill. Revenue from those tax would fund implementation and support efforts to reduce impaired driving, with the rest going to the state’s general fund and local municipalities. “If you get your tax rate too high, it causes the cannabis to be too expensive and allows for the black market cannabis industry to thrive,” Pirtle told The Santa Fe New Mexican. “It was important to me to have a low tax rate so that we can put the black market cannabis industry out of business.” “There is growing bipartisan agreement that prohibition has not been effective in limiting and controlling the negative effects of cannabis,” Pirtle said in a separate interview. “This proposal represents a pragmatic compromise that emphasizes public safety, while giving New Mexicans the personal liberty to make decisions for themselves.” Meanwhile, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D) filed legislation that would similarly…

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Source : New Mexico Senators File Two Marijuana Legalization Bills, With More On The Way

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