New Mexico was set to turn into the sixteenth state to legalize leisure marijuana after the Legislature handed a invoice on Wednesday, becoming a member of a nationwide motion to rethink antidrug legal guidelines which can be more and more seen as impediments to racial justice and the financial system.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, stated she would signal the invoice, which might additionally expunge the felony data of people that possessed marijuana for private use. She stated in an announcement that staff, entrepreneurs and the federal government would profit from the brand new business, creating jobs and tax income.
“And those that have been harmed by this nation’s failed warfare on medicine, disproportionately communities of coloration, will profit from our state’s sensible, honest and equitable new method to previous low-level convictions,” she stated.
The invoice handed on the identical day that New York State legalized leisure marijuana. Lawmakers in each states stated they had been motivated to provide a authorized, tax-revenue-generating business that previously operated underground, and to finish arrests for low-level offenses.
Underneath the New Mexico law, people over 21 would be permitted to have up to two ounces of marijuana, and individuals could have six plants at home, or up to 12 per household. Sales would begin no later than April 2022 and be taxed at 12 percent, eventually rising to 18 percent, plus gross receipts taxes.
The industry will be regulated by the state and produce an estimated $20 million in revenue for the state in 2023, plus $10 million for local governments, according to a fiscal analysis cited by The Albuquerque Journal.
New Mexico’s measure is part of a growing consensus in the United States in favor of marijuana decriminalization, with 91 percent of Americans in 2019 supporting legal medical or recreational use, according to the Pew Research Center. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota opted to legalize recreational marijuana in November, while Mississippi and South Dakota became the 34th and 35th states to allow medical marijuana.
The New Mexico bill passed over Republican objections, but not all were opposed to legalization; some just clashed over the details, including how the industry would be taxed, licensed and regulated.
Supporters, including Emily Kaltenbach, senior director for resident states and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, hailed the passage of the law.
“Today’s passage of the cannabis legalization and expungement package will ensure equitable opportunities for farmers and other small businesses, and long overdue justice — including automatic expungement — for those with past cannabis arrests or convictions,” she said in a statement.
About 100 prisoners will have their sentences reconsidered under the new law, according to The Associated Press.