Cannabis Regulation Act (HB2/SB2) Provides Long Overdue Justice and Social Equity to New Mexico Communities Most Harmed by Prohibition
Santa Fe, NM – In response to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signing cannabis legalization into law, following the New Mexico Legislature approving the Cannabis Regulation Act (HB2/SB2) during the special session, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
"We are honored to celebrate the signing of this legislative package alongside the Governor, who literally stopped at nothing until we were able to get justice for New Mexico communities that have been immensely harmed by cannabis prohibition. Her leadership, along with that of Senator Ortiz y Pino—who we’ve had the privilege of working with since 2014, when he first sponsored cannabis legalization in the state—and Representatives Martinez and Romero are what made this a reality.
Seven years later, New Mexicans are finally able to exhale. The bill sponsors went to the mat to ensure racial justice and equity provisions, public health safeties and medical cannabis patient protections were front and center in their legislation.
We wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for the years of input from New Mexicans across the state from Gallup to Deming to Clovis to Taos. New Mexicans made sure that there are equitable opportunities for farmers and other small businesses, medical cannabis patients and long overdue justice for those with past cannabis arrests or convictions."
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, and New York just passed the most ambitious reform yet in March--centering community reinvestment, social equity and justice--at its core.
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.