New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Heads To Senate Floor Following Contentious Committee Hearing

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During a marathon hearing that stretched into the early hours on Thursday, a New Mexico Senate panel narrowly approved a bill to legalize marijuana, setting up a floor vote with just days to go before the end of the legislative session. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the measure, House Bill 12, on a 5–4 vote, with Chairman Joe Cervantes (D) siding with the panel’s three Republican members in opposition. Many saw the Judiciary Committee, where a similar legalization bill died last year, as the legislation’s biggest obstacle on its path to becoming law. The proposal has already passed the House of Representatives last month and earned the backing of key Senate leaders. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has also repeatedly called for the policy change and included legalization in her 2021 legislative agenda. The NM Senate Judiciary Committee voted to do-pass (5-4) CS/CS/HB 12/aaaaa. The bill enacts the Cannabis Regulation Act, a plan for regulation and licensing of commercial #cannabis production / distribution / sale / consumption by people 21+. #nmleg #nmpol #nmlegis #nmgov pic.twitter.com/7lZrSL0y0j — NM Senate Democrats (@NMSenateDems) March 18, 2021 The bill has three major components, lead sponsor Rep. Javier Martínez (D) said at the hearing: protecting existing medical marijuana patients, ensuring racial justice in how cannabis is legalized and establishing smart regulatory and tax systems. “Is this bill perfect? Probably not,” he acknowledged. “Should this bill move forward, should we legalize cannabis in New Mexico this year, I can assure you that we will all be up here next year, making tweaks. That’s the way it should be…because good policy and good law should be evolving, especially when we attempt to do something as big as this.” If passed, the bill would legalize possession and personal cultivation of marijuana, as well as sales from licensed retailers.…

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Source : New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Heads To Senate Floor Following Contentious Committee Hearing

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