A recreational pot bill is off to the races in the New Mexico legislature

by Amanda Push

A recreational pot bill that’s seeking to legalize recreational cannabis in New Mexico and charge a nine percent tax has overcome its first hurdle in the New Mexico legislature. Congrats, neighbor!

“Prohibition simply does not work and the country is coming to the realization of that,” said Democratic Rep. and the bill’s co-sponsor Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The state currently only allows for medical marijuana use and the proposed legislation, House Bill 356, was just approved by its first legislative committee on Feb. 9. The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-2 in favor of the bill, but it has a ways to go before New Mexicans are in the clear to legally smoke for fun.

Organizations and businesses spoke during the hearing regarding their concerns over recreational legalization, such as employees being stoned at work, making sure children don’t have access to edibles, and making sure medical marijuana patients continue to have access to products.

“We are taking all those comments to heart,” said Rep. Javier Martinez, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, according to the Albuquerque Journal. “We want to make sure we do this right.”

The bill’s next stop before potentially going before the House is the House Judiciary Committee. If the House and Judiciary Committee approve it, the bill will go before the Senate.

Godspeed, House Bill 356!

Amanda Push

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