In 2021, New Mexico became the 17th state to legalize adult use marijuana. In a special session, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law a package of legislation, the Cannabis Regulation Act (House Bill 2) and the Expungement and Resentencing Act (Senate Bill 2).
DPA has been leading the campaign to legalize cannabis in New Mexico for years. From the beginning, we have been clear that any legislation that moves forward must be comprehensive – it must ensure equity and justice and begin to repair the damage of the drug war which has disproportionately impacted Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native, and Indigenous people.
Legislators rightly heard our call for justice and passed legislation that prioritizes repairing the damage of the drug war. We thank the Governor and our legislative allies for not taking "no" for an answer and stopping at nothing until we were able to get justice for New Mexico communities.
The Cannabis Regulation Act will create a system to tax and regulate cannabis responsibly for adults 21 and over and allows personal cultivation of up to six plants. It has strong medical cannabis patient protections and public health and safety provisions, and promotes diversity and equity in the new industry. And the Expungement and Resentencing Act provides vital expungement and resentencing provisions for people with past cannabis arrests or convictions.
We have more work to do to finish the job. We will be advocating to ensure equity and social justice are not forgotten in the rule making process and we’ll be coming back strong during the 2022 budget session to secure funding for critical reinvestment in the communities that have been most harmed by prohibition.