Thursday Press Conference: New Mexican’s Support for Taxing and Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol Reaches New High; New Poll Shows Solid Majority in Support

Press Release January 26, 2016
Media Contact

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<p>Emily Kaltenbach (505) 920-5256<br />
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384</p>

SANTA FE – New polling data about New Mexican’s attitudes towards changes in marijuana policy will be released tomorrow during a press event at the State Capitol. The new data reflects the state’s shifting outlook on marijuana policy reform. Results show the majority of New Mexicans polled are in favor of reforming our current marijuana laws.

This event will include remarks from State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino who has recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 5 which proposes an amendment to New Mexico’s Constitution allowing for the possession and use of marijuana and hemp by adults.  It also requires that revenues generated from sales and taxation be used for New Mexico’s public education needs, the Medicaid program or drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Brian Sanderoff, from Research and Polling, Inc., will present the January, 2016 polling results.


What: Polling data release + press availability with legislators and drug policy reform advocates

Where: Room 326, State Capitol Bldg.

When: Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

“This is a great opportunity for the press and public to learn that New Mexicans are shifting their views on drug policy reform,” said Emily Kaltenbach, State Director, Drug Policy Alliance. “The dramatic shifts we’ve seen on the national level regarding marijuana legalization are also reflected in our state. It is time to realize that taxation and regulation of marijuana will significantly boost the State’s uncertain revenue base and it is time to admit that marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed. It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in the criminalization of non-violent people, gross racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste.”

Four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana. However, all eyes in New Mexico have been on Colorado to gauge the impact of the country’s first-ever state law to tax and regulate the sale and private use of marijuana for non-medical purposes. January 1, 2016, marked the two year anniversary since marijuana became available for purchase for adults 21 and older in Colorado. For over three years, the state has also allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana.

Colorado is projected to have brought in over 125 million dollars in taxes for 2015.  These monies are put into a fund to improve local public schools or are collected by the state to be divvied up via the Governor’s allocation plan.  The Governor’s plan provides a snapshot as to what a public health approach to marijuana looks like—funds are distributed to public education, behavioral health, law enforcement and youth prevention.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. DPA fights for drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights.

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