Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
Santa Fe, NM – In the waning hours of the regular session, the New Mexico State Legislature failed to pass cannabis legalization. However, Governor Lujan Grisham has indicated that a special session will likely be held in the coming weeks to address legalization.
In response to this, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
“While we are disappointed that New Mexicans will have to wait a little bit longer to reap the benefits and justice cannabis legalization will provide—especially to Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native and Indigenous communities, who have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition—after the legislature failed to pass House Bill 12 this session, we applaud Governor Lujan Grisham for acknowledging this cannot wait and indicating she will take up legalization in a special session.
And though we are experiencing this unfortunate setback, we are so grateful for the leadership of Representatives Andrea Romero, Deborah Armstrong, and Javier Martinez this session in prioritizing racial justice and equity provisions, public health safeties, and medical cannabis patient protections in their legislation. It is clear why HB 12, out of many other pieces of legislation, was the cannabis legalization bill that made it the farthest this session.”
As New Mexico considers the end of cannabis prohibition, the Drug Policy Alliance believes that any legislation that moves forward in the special session should be comprehensive and contain these key provisions:
In December, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act that frames cannabis reform as a racial justice and equity mandate. The MORE Act was the first piece of comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that decriminalizes marijuana—and the only one centered in reparative justice—to pass either chamber of Congress. Arizona and New Jersey passed legalization proposals this past year that center equity and racial justice as well, with New York considering similar legislation in their current session.
Nearly three out of four New Mexicans approve of cannabis legalization with provisions in place to ensure tax revenue is reinvested back into communities, including 94% of Democrats, 93% of Independents and 46% of Republicans.