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New Mexico Senate Committee Passes Marijuana Legalization


new mexico marijuanaYesterday, for the first time in history, a legislative committee voted in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana in New Mexico.  On a vote of 5-4 New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino’s (D-12-Bernalillo) Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) passed the Senate Rules Committee.

SJR2 would allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older and for the regulation of the production, sale and taxation of marijuana in New Mexico.

“Today’s vote sets in motion the process to put the issue on a 2016 statewide ballot for voters,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed. It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in the criminalization of people, gross racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste. Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution will allow our legislature rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms.”

A 2013 state poll conducted by Research and Polling found a majority of New Mexico’s registered voters (52 percent) say they support legalizing marijuana for adults, including 50 percent of independents and 60 percent of parents with children under the age of 18.  Nearly 40 percent of voters say their senator or representative’s position on the issue would not make a difference in how they vote with 31 percent of voters saying they would be more likely to vote for their legislator if they supported reducing penalties or taxing and regulating marijuana.

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, which took effect last year. January 1, 2015, marked the one year anniversary since marijuana became available for purchase for adults 21 and older in Colorado. For over two years, the state has also allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana.

According to the state’s department of revenue, the first ten months of legal marijuana sales have resulted in nearly $40 million in tax revenue.  The city of Denver saw a decrease in violent crime rates in the first 11 months of 2014, following a similar trend in 2013. Statewide traffic fatalities continue to decline, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Upwards of $8 million has been allocated to fund youth education and drug prevention efforts.  And the state is enjoying economic growth and the lowest unemployment rate in years.

“Today is an historic day for New Mexicans,” said Brett Phelps, president of the University of New Mexico’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). “Our legislature has taken a courageous step towards creating a sensible policy for regulating and taxing marijuana in New Mexico. This is an issue that should be decided by the people and SJR 2 will allow New Mexicans to do just that. ”

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.

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Teresa Charvea on

    Sad…marijuana for recreation…it doesn’t just leave your system right away. It does impair your judgement and over time you lose a lot of your cognitive thinking skills! Also don’t forget employers still have the right to refuse employment even if it is legal by the state. And the state will tax it heavily!! Seen the destruction it has on families too!! Well they already took God out of everything it was only a matter of time for them to go in this direction. Will still teach my children they don’t need marajuana to escape reality. For people who need it medically I understand but just for fun not so much!! Sad in my opinion!

  2. Tobacco does not kill people. It’s what the tobacco companies put into it is what kills people, the chemicals. Raw tobacco has been smoked and used at ceremonial gatherings for centuries.
    Weed is good for aches & pains & has been used by people for centuries.
    What I’m afraid of is the big tobacco companies picking up the weed industry and putting chemicals in the weed.

  3. It can stay illegal in the rest of the states. The sooner it is legal in NM and the longer it takes to be legal everywhere else, the longer NM will benefit from economic boon.

  4. This is the legislature enabling a public vote on legalization. As legislation, the governor, Suzanna Martinez can still veto the question occurring on the ballot.

  5. CO is rich relative to NM. Potent pot is coming from the N in tiny amounts to the elite that can pay. The drug war mostly picks on the poor filling up private for profit prisons.

  6. No. It goes up for a PUBLIC vote in the next election. I hope this comes up during the Presidential election as legalization will drive up voter participation massively. If the Republicans had not obstructed legalization sooner by legislative law, this would not have happened. The Republicans hate high voter turn out because, when people vote, Democrats win. VOTE!
    I know it is difficult and modern electoral system makes it hard to know the candidates but, try to look them up.

  7. Michael Arellano on

    What the fuck are you talking about lady you make no sense. I’m sure you have never even smoked cannabis before but smoke a pack of cigarettes a day just killing yourself

  8. Jeannette Hickson on

    As we legalize marijuana, we make tobacco illegal. I do NOT understand this. Unless our government wants us all doped up so they can take our freedoms away a lot easier. All for the Almighty Dollar?

  9. Derrick Cornejo on

    Obviously you now nothing about how colorado regulates and tracks the sale of each plant that is grown for legal sale of recreational and medical marijuana. Furthermore, I strongly disagree with your statement that colorado is a “rich” state. Finally, only because colorado voters have been more progressive on recreational sale of marijuana then the rest of the country only shows that the citizens of Colorado should be looked at as paving the way for nation wide legalized recreational sales.

    Colorado citizen…

  10. Why on earth should a POOR state like New Mexico allow a RICH state like Colorado get all the dollars from marijuana when it is quite obvious that New Mexico grows quite a bit of the marijuana that ends up being sold in Colorado. Maybe the high end crowd of Santa Fe and Taos, which are literally rolling in weed, could be taxed for their weed use to make up for the legal taxes that they so conveniently circumvent every chance they get.

  11. this is one of the smartest things nm has decided on that is best for all of the residents yeaaaaaaa

  12. maybe they can reduce the state debt “not” legalize but don’t lie that you will do good things with revenue

  13. Oklahoma is not OK sheesh, talk about backwoods ???!!! I lived there for years, I’ll give credit for the friendly inviting attitude of people there, but I would attribute it to the establishment.
    Although I believe that it was due to the fact that while I was there OK was the 2ND highest marijuana producing state , you couldn’t go into the woods without being shot at because of all the illegal crops that was in every corner of the state,
    Meanwhile Meth was creeping in the back door. & state officials just stood by and watch it happen ’cause they were to busy pocketing the $ from back office dealings.
    And it’s true what they say about OK, ‘ that the ones who live there where either too stupid or lazy to keep moving forward (west), totally backwoods!!!!!
    This is from first hand experience, now in the 21st century it’s still acceptable to be completely politically incorrect, (ya ain’t right if u ain’t white attitude) all the backwood hillbilly racial profiling, slurs n innuendo that keep them from true manifest destiny.
    then to beat you with the bible, believing that you received the lords word through osmosis.
    Tells me to believe in Jesus, then steals the money from my hand- real poison
    Yeah. Oklahoma ain’t OK….
    ………y’all come back neow y’hea

  14. I’m an ex con that did 5 years in Mexico and 3 yrs in the States! There is opportunity for anyone who wants it here in NM! Been out since 2000 and been working since! If you want it you can get it!

  15. This is glorious news and we all have until 2016 to get every one to vote yes. Get on it.

  16. I am from Indiana now living in New Mexico and they will ruin your whole life for a seed. Even if you are on probation for a certain length of time, they don’t actually let you off until all your fees are paid which could be years and years. Now you have a felony and can’t get a job, assistance,. . you can’t rent.. I HATE Indiana.

  17. There are still plenty of tweakers here. They aren’t going anywhere, they have kids to raise off state money.

  18. purple rain weaver on

    lol of course NM has seen Breaking Bad, it was filmed here. but what does that have anything to do with marijuana being legal, they have nothing to do with each other.

  19. purple rain weaver on

    damn why do you have to be hateful and negative smh, what ever happened to humanity in people. i don’t agree with mr mojo but let’s try to be better people in this world. js

  20. Do you rmember the “pope smokes dope”
    1 800 we deliver?
    “The church of realized fantasies “

  21. Fell on deaf ears
    insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over
    expecting different results
    see “congress “

  22. He’ll yes and the sequel, sols
    news flash drive across America
    anytown USA has the hood
    and meth production is up cartels don’t make weedmoney
    on 1/2 the state’s so they stepped up their game
    #prohibition of anything just makes it more desirable!

  23. midnight toker on

    Hey I live in Oklahoma and I dont mess with that poison bullshit. And NewMexico is as bad or worse than Okla. So why dont you take a flyin fuck along with all the other idiots that think like you .

  24. Good luck in the twilight zone friend. My step-son got 18 months for a “legend drug”. There was 6, 800 mg motrin on the engine cover of the work van he was “in”, not driving. peace

  25. I lived in NY for 49 years. I don’t see NY doing anything anytime soon. My guess is NY will be the last north east state give up it’s war on New Yorkers. Too much drug warrior money and too many dirty politicians in NY. They will only reluctantly end their war on you when they can no longer explain to New Yorkers why they are arresting them when Vermonters, Mainers and the reservations are MAKING SO MUCH $$$$$$$$$$.

  26. Jordan Shorette on

    Yea except our medical is 20 dispensaries for the entire state and a bogus no smoking rule hardly a good mm law but if new yorkers keep calling the senate and assemblyman we might be able to get the tax reg bill through, unlikely bc of our legislatures level of blind ignorance but who knows. Ive called as many as I could and believe it or not they get really excited to hear you call and support the legalization bill.

  27. well also being from NY I think we wont be far behind…Hopefully we will get full medical here this year or so ive read

  28. Oklahoma is a meth riddled state that’s currently suing Colorado bc their weed. Oklahoma can go overdose already, those goofy bastards elected to run that state.

  29. That sucks. From what I hear about Indiana the politicians are as uptight as the ones here in Texas. Hope it goes well.

  30. Voter Approved on

    When Governor Martinez expanded the (voter approved) Medical Marijuana Program, rather than eliminating it, I knew she was going to listen to the will of the people of New Mexico rather than to dictate her desires.

    By giving the citizens of New Mexico another vote to approve Marijuana legalization, the Senate has shown itself as champions of the people of New Mexico too.

    New Mexico can be proud of our elected leaders to allow the will of people to decide the direction by a vote, rather than to impose continued draconian Federal laws that have ruined the lives of countless individuals through expensive prosecution and incarceration.

  31. I would love to see a state sharing a border with Texas vote to legalize cannabis!

    Way to go New Mexico !

  32. Just hoping for decriminalization here in Indiana! Got busted with a gram of weed last memorial day and my lawyer says be prepared to do 6-9 months in jail.

  33. Come on feds this is another state that gets it. We all know prohibition does not work. All it does is keep the justice department financed and people locked up.why not have them worry about other issues than Marijuana.

  34. Two things I think reformers have going for them in New Mexico are it’s proximity to Colorado, so that people in NM can see for themselves that legalization is working in CO, and the above average rate of alcoholism in NM, which may help account for the surprisingly high support of 60% for legalizing weed among parents with children under 18, against poll average of 52% support.

  35. Great news but vote was close …. Had one voted other way we would not having this conversation …..

    One State, County, City, Village or whatever ….. One at a time legalization is making headway!

  36. Jordan Shorette on

    not even the state I live in and it gives me goosebumps, this is a drug war we will win, even if its one state at a time, as a resident of new York clear across the country I applaud nm legislature. take notice nys senate!

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