New Mexico may be one step closer to legalizing cannabis now that two House committees have approved legislation to do so. HB12, sponsored by Rep. Javier Martinez and Andrea Romero, could be heard by the full State House as early as tomorrow or Friday under House rules, though one House leader reached by phone Wednesday expected the measure to be scheduled for a weekend session.
Legislators have introduced five different bills for legalization this year. Two of those started in the House where committee members passed HB12 and tabled an alternative bill, HB17. Social justice advocates cheered the passage of HB12 because it directs some of the estimated $100 million in new taxes to be invested back into social justice programs to partly remedy the harm from the war on drugs.
After a brief morning of debate, the House Tax & Revenue Committee passed HB12 on an 8-4 vote, clearing the last hurdle before a vote by the full State House.
The State Senate’s Tax, Business and Transportation Committee is preparing for a marathon Saturday session where it will consider four different proposals.
Read more from The Paper on New Mexico’s path to legalization
Legalization has been a keystone issue for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who, last year, creating a working group to study the issue and recommend a framework for legalization (full disclosure: Pat Davis, The Paper’s publisher, was appointed by the governor to chair that group last year).
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