Recreational cannabis use in New Mexico could pass in 2020

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to include recreational cannabis legislation in the 2020 legislative session

Lawmakers in New Mexico were on the cusp of recreational cannabis legalization earlier this year. However, a bill to legalize adult-use weed fell flat after four anti-pot senators rejected the measure. Fortunately, cannabis proponents in New Mexico could get their hands on legal weed by as early as next year. This news comes following an announcement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who vowed to include cannabis legislation in the 2020 legislative session.

As a plant that remains tightly bound by federal restrictions, recreational cannabis legalization would force pot businesses in New Mexico to either abide by federal or state laws. Next year, lawmakers will push for legalization, which would make the Democratic U.S. State the 11th to pass adult-use cannabis laws.

New Mexico was the 12th U.S. State to legalize medical cannabis

Medical cannabis legalization unfolded in the State of New Mexico back in 2007. Patients who require pharmaceutical-grade cannabis treatments can obtain their medicine under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. Although cannabis is illegal for recreational purposes, the plant will officially be decriminalized in July. Recreational cannabis is on the horizon; an adult-use legalization bill was approved in the House in March. Unfortunately, the bipartisan proposal fell flat in the Senate.

Attorney General William Barr asks Congress for a helping hand
(Pictured) Attorney General William Barr

Inconsistencies between federal and state laws must be dealt with if New Mexico is to progress with cannabis legalization. This is what Attorney General William Barr says. He replaced former AG Jeff Sessions, who was the vocal pot opponent responsible for rescinding the Obama Administration’s relaxed approach to cannabis law enforcement.

Fortunately for pot proponents, the Cole Memorandum is being restored once again. Making progress with New Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry depends on Congress. Barr is asking lawmakers to deal with discrepancies in federal and state regulations before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham includes legislation on the 2020 legislative session’s agenda.

Gov. Grisham can take this upcoming opportunity to firmly establish a law that legalizes recreational cannabis in New Mexico. 

Senate Bill 323 is approved by lawmakers to reduce pot possession penalties

Proponents were on the edge of their seats after a recreational cannabis bill passed a chamber of the state Legislature for the first time ever back in March. Despite the fact it did not pass the Senate, progress is most certainly being made, with Senate Bill 323 recently being approved by lawmakers.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, shrinks the penalty for cannabis possession. Individuals found with up to half an ounce of weed on their person would now be fined $50 and charged with a civil citation, as opposed to a criminal conviction.