New Mexicans Have Another Chance to Make Sure Equity and Justice are Center to the Legislation
Today, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham called for a special session to consider cannabis legalization. The special session will start next Tuesday, March 30th at noon Mountain time.
In response to this, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
"New Mexicans may not have to wait much 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.
We have been working around the clock to ensure that the racial justice and equity provisions, public health priorities, and medical cannabis patient protections will be included in the special session cannabis legalization package. New Mexicans are 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, the Drug Policy Alliance believes that 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.