New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Nears Governor’s Desk Following House And Senate Votes

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New Mexico’s Senate and House of Representatives each passed versions of a bill to legalize marijuana during a special legislative session on Wednesday, paving a path to the governor’s desk. Both chambers also approved separate legislation to expunge past convictions for low-level cannabis crimes. The legalization bill, HB 2, passed the full Senate on a 22–15 vote Wednesday night following hours of contentious discussion throughout the day. It now returns to the House, which approved the measure earlier in the day, 38–32, to consider changes made in the Senate. If the bill proceeds to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who has backed the legalization push, legal retail sales could begin in New Mexico by April of next year. The expungements bill, SB 2, now heads to the governor’s desk for her signature, as both chambers have already passed it in identical form. Senate Bill 2 has received final legislative approval! This important legislation accompanies the legalization of cannabis and will ensure that New Mexico ends the harmful long-term impacts of cannabis conviction records, enabling New Mexicans to build better futures. — Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) April 1, 2021 Provisions in the two bills were originally part of a single piece of legislation, HB 12, that passed the House during the regular session but stalled on the Senate floor. Going into this week’s special session, backers spun off the criminal justice matters in an effort to win support from Republicans and moderate Democrats who complained the proposal as a whole was too broad. Before the full Senate vote, the body’s Committee of the Whole, consisting of all the chamber’s members, narrowly approved HB 2, voting 23–19. Lawmakers also considered a competing legalization proposal, SB 3, from Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R), who began circulating draft legislation last week. The Republican lawmaker’s bill took a simpler…

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Source : New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Nears Governor’s Desk Following House And Senate Votes

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