New Mexico Legislators are headed back to the Roundhouse today for the special session on recreational cannabis legalization. Shortly after the lose of the standard 60 day session only 10 days ago Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said she’d be calling lawmakers back to get the priority cannabis legislation hammered out. Emily Kaltenbach, senior director for resident states and New Mexico, at the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for alternatives to the war on drugs, said polls have shown New Mexico residents favor such legislation, but state lawmakers have not been on board. And the statement from Kaltenbach is obvious; NM legislators have heard these bills in committee and on the Senate floor for years at this point but always failed to make it to the finish line after years of revisions and attempts.
A survey by the group Drug Policy Action found that nearly three out of four New Mexicans, including 94% of Democrats, 93% of Independents and 46% of Republicans, approve of cannabis legalization with provisions in place to ensure tax revenue is reinvested into communities. NMBC hopes that legislators can craft a bill that addresses the very real concerns of employers and those tasked with maintaining public safety. We know lawmakers are seeing the dollar signs and already planning for how to spend the revenue generated from legalization, but we hope they also consider the tremendous social costs that such a move will create.