New Mexico was set to change 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 are more and more seen as impediments to racial justice and the financial system.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, mentioned she would signal the invoice, which might additionally expunge the felony data of people that possessed marijuana for private use. She mentioned in an announcement that employees, 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 conflict on medicine, disproportionately communities of coloration, will profit from our state’s sensible, truthful and equitable new method to previous low-level convictions,” she mentioned.
The invoice handed on the identical day that New York State legalized leisure marijuana. Lawmakers in each states mentioned they have been motivated to provide a authorized, tax-revenue-generating business that previously operated underground, and to finish arrests for low-level offenses.
Under the New Mexico regulation, folks over 21 could be permitted to have as much as two ounces of marijuana, and people might have six vegetation at dwelling, or as much as 12 per family. Sales would start no later than April 2022 and be taxed at 12 p.c, finally rising to 18 p.c, plus gross receipts taxes.
The business might be regulated by the state and produce an estimated $20 million in income for the state in 2023, plus $10 million for native governments, in keeping with a fiscal evaluation cited by The Albuquerque Journal.
New Mexico’s measure is a part of a rising consensus within the United States in favor of marijuana decriminalization, with 91 p.c of Americans in 2019 supporting authorized medical or leisure use, in keeping with the Pew Research Center. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota opted to legalize leisure marijuana in November, whereas Mississippi and South Dakota grew to become the thirty fourth and thirty fifth states to permit medical marijuana.
The New Mexico invoice handed over Republican objections, however not all have been against legalization; some simply clashed over the main points, together with how the business could be taxed, licensed and controlled.
Supporters, together with Emily Kaltenbach, senior director for resident states and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, hailed the passage of the regulation.
“Today’s passage of the hashish legalization and expungement package deal will guarantee equitable alternatives for farmers and different small companies, and lengthy overdue justice — together with automated expungement — for these with previous hashish arrests or convictions,” she mentioned in an announcement.
About 100 prisoners could have their sentences reconsidered beneath the brand new regulation, in keeping with The Associated Press.