Social Justice-Centered Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee, Clearing Path to Governor’s Desk

Press Release March 18, 2021
Media Contact

Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

Santa Fe, NM – With the Senate Judiciary Committee Voting in Favor of Cannabis Legalization, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
“As the clock begins to run out on an attempt to pass cannabis legalization this year, yesterday’s passage of House Bill 12 by the Senate Judiciary Committee made it clear that legislators have heard the call of their constituents and chosen to put politics aside to prioritize New Mexico families over big business. With HB 12 overcoming this major hurdle, it now moves to a Senate floor vote and could end up on the Governor’s desk by Saturday. 
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. HB 12 is the best vehicle to do this, as it reinvests back into communities most harmed by drug prohibition, particularly Hispanic/Latino, Black and Native populations in New Mexico.”

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:

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. 

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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