Santa Fe, NM — At present, New Mexico State Consultant Javier Martinez launched Home Invoice 312 to tax and regulate marijuana. Rep. Martinez envisions an trade that may assist financial progress and begins to dismantle failed drug struggle insurance policies that damage New Mexicans.
New Mexico’s present marijuana insurance policies are widely known as damaged. “The struggle on marijuana has been a depressing failure,’’ mentioned Consultant Martinez. “We spend hundreds of thousands of criminalizing individuals who use marijuana with out seeing advantages to public well being or security. We have to legalize marijuana in New Mexico and cease the hurt that disproportionally impacts those that live in poverty and those that are Black, Native and Hispanic/Latino. A marijuana conviction can have tragic long-term penalties for people and households. Folks could lose jobs or be unable to safe employment due to a felony file. College students who incur a marijuana conviction can lose their scholar loans. The punishment doesn’t match the offense and New Mexicans agree we must always take away penalties and as an alternative tax and regulate marijuana.”
Polling knowledge from 2016 exhibits New Mexican’s attitudes in the direction of modifications in marijuana coverage have shifted. Outcomes present a 60 % majority of New Mexicans polled are in favor of reforming present marijuana legal guidelines.
“New Mexico’s present marijuana legal guidelines are unfair, unpopular and wasteful. 1000’s of people are arrested for marijuana possession in New Mexico yearly,” mentioned Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico State Director of the Drug Coverage Alliance. “It’s a waste of regulation enforcement sources and taxpayer cash after we may have a secure and authorized trade creating 1000’s of sustainable new jobs. Legalizing small quantities of marijuana can even enhance tax income and take away hundreds of thousands in gross sales from the felony market, placing that cash into the New Mexico financial system. The marijuana trade will instantly create one among NM’s most profitable industries, greater than movie, pecan, chile, and craft beer.”
Advocates are applauding this widespread sense measure that’s lengthy overdue. Nonetheless, being a brief, budget-only, session they’re primarily excited concerning the potential for the measure as a software for dialogue and a strategy to transfer the dialog ahead earlier than the 60 day legislative session in 2019.
“We don’t count on the invoice to cross this yr, however introducing it is necessary,” mentioned Kaltenbach. “We additionally hope to debate the deserves and challenges of marijuana legalization with legislators throughout the interim session in addition to with their constituents. Suggestions from these conversations will make for the most effective, most fastidiously thought out coverage proposal for 2019.”
A nationwide shift on marijuana legalization is underway. Regardless of the stance of the present federal administration, simply final week the Governor of Vermont signed a invoice to tax and regulate marijuana. That makes 9 states, and Washington D.C. which have legalized marijuana for grownup use. And 29 states now allow using medical marijuana, together with New Mexico. Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have introduced in lots of of hundreds of thousands of in tax income from marijuana taxation, and the fears of prohibitionists haven’t been borne out in these states.
The Drug Coverage Alliance’s newly launched report From Prohibition to Progress finds that states are saving cash and defending the general public by comprehensively regulating marijuana for grownup use. There have been dramatic decreases in marijuana arrests and convictions, saving states hundreds of thousands of and stopping the criminalization of 1000’s of individuals.
The report additionally states that: youth marijuana use has remained secure in states which have legalized; entry to authorized marijuana is related to reductions in a few of the most troubling harms related to opioid use, together with opioid overdose deaths and untreated opioid use issues; DUI arrests for driving below the affect, of alcohol and different medicine, have declined in Colorado and Washington, the primary two states to legalize marijuana; and, on the similar time, states are exceeding their marijuana income estimates and filling their coffers with lots of of hundreds of thousands of .