New Mexico has only officially legalized cannabis
It’s official: the New Mexico leader has just signed a law on cannabis, adding to the growing ranks of already legal U.S. states.
The law was signed this week by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. With this new regulation, people aged 21 and over can own cannabis. Home growing will be legal, as will a regulated market, which is expected to start in 2022. It will also enable previous cannabis records to be erased. Those who serve time for cannabis can also be convicted again.
While it’s still exciting that legal cannabis is official, Governor Lujan Grisham should definitely sign it. She has worked hard since taking office to push legalization and even convened a special session to hear a legal cannabis bill. It was the House and Senate that were closer together, but their signature still makes New Mexico law official and ushers in a new era.
While New Mexico has had a medical cannabis program since 2007, its medical acceptance of the plant has long ceased to exist. Nearby states like California and Colorado long ago introduced recreational cannabis, but New Mexico is just taking the plunge.
The changes in New Mexico’s cannabis laws
Lujan Grisham claims cannabis reform will help bring money to the state and create more jobs to boost the post-COVID economy.
As she signed the bill, she spoke about how legalization will help heal the wounds of the war on drugs that disproportionately disadvantaged people of color and other marginalized people. An estimated 100 people could be released from New Mexico jail and thousands could have their records deleted.
“It’s good for the workers. It’s good for business owners. It’s good for consumers, ”she said of legalization. “And it does social justice in ways that we have spoken about and advocated for decades.”
Under the new law, Lujan Grisham will appoint a Superintendent of the Regulatory and Licensing Department who will oversee and regulate the industry. The bill contains a concept by Representative Javier Martinez that overturns previous convictions for cannabis.
Martinez claims he supports legalization and hopes the entire US will follow suit to suppress the violence against drug cartels that occurs when cannabis is kept in the illicit market.
“I grew up on the border. I saw what the war on drugs did, ”Martinez said. “I’m proud that New Mexico – little old New Mexico – did its part in telling the federal government, once and for all, to legalize cannabis for the people.”
Rules for the new legal market will be due by early 2022, and a format for manufacturing safe products and issuing business and employee licenses will be developed. Only people aged 21 and over can work in the legal cannabis market.
The state’s economy will be boosted by the recreational sales tax of 12 percent and above on top of the 18 percent sales tax already applied to sales in New Mexico. Medical cannabis remains untaxed.
As more states lift cannabis bans, New Mexico joins the ranks of the new legal states and looks forward to an increase in social justice and economic growth.