New Mexico House of Representatives Passes Cannabis Legalization Bill that Centers Social Justice

Press Release February 26, 2021
Media Contact

Contact:
Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

Santa Fe, NM – With the New Mexico House of Representatives Voting in Favor of Cannabis Legalization today on a 39-31 vote, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
 
“Cannabis legalization in New Mexico is one step closer to the finish line.  After today’s debate, we’re even more optimistic that this bill has a path to the Governor’s desk.  As early as tomorrow, the Senate will begin considering all four legalization measures, three from the Senate and HB 12 from the House. Given HB 12 puts the lives of New Mexicans ahead of solely business interests, it is critical it be the vehicle for legalization as the issue moves forward. HB 12 legalizes cannabis in an equitable way that begins to repair the harms that have disproportionately impacted Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native and Indigenous people in New Mexico. 
 
New Mexicans are absolutely ready to see marijuana legalization become a reality in the state, but they have made it clear that repairing the damage done by the drug war is non-negotiable.”

As New Mexico considers the end of cannabis prohibition, any legislation that moves forward in New Mexico should be comprehensive and contain these key provisions:

Background
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. 

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