After residents of Santa Fe and Bernalillo County voted overwhelmingly this November in support of decriminalizing marijuana, our elected officials are ready to act on sensible drug policy reforms.
Representative Bill McCamley (D-Dona Ana) will conduct a presentation about the benefits of marijuana legalization at the Legislative Health and Human Services committee meeting Tuesday (11/25) and is expected to announce his intent to introduce marijuana taxation and regualtion legislation during the 2015 legislative session.
Rep. McCamley is one of several legislators who announced plans to address marijuana policy reform after campaigns supporting marijuana decriminalization won by substantial margins in New Mexico’s 1st and 3rd most populated counties. Voters in 90.7% of Bernalillo County precincts and 94.3% of Santa Fe County precincts supported marijuana decriminalization in the 2014 elections.
Four states have now legalized recreational marijuana use (Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon). Rep. McCamley argues that taxing and regulating legal marijuana has economic benefits for the state including increased state revenue, reduced incarceration costs, and better focused police resources.
The hearing will be Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM at the State Capitol, Room 307. You can find information on live online webcasting here.
Rep. McCamley’s presentation to the committee was previewed in an online PowerPoint earlier today:
2015 New Mexico Marijuana Presentation (opens in new page)
In 2014, the House of Representatives passed House Memorial 38 directing legislative staff to study the impacts of marijuana tax and regulate initiatives in Colorado and Washington state. That data is expected to be available for the 2015 session. The Senate also considered marijuana legislation. A Constitutional amendment, SJR 10, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino proposed to let all voters decide if marijuana should be legalized statewide.
Patrick Davis of the DecrimNM campaign says, “Voters made a big statement earlier this year and we are committed to supporting efforts to decriminalize marijuana in Albuquerque and to give voters statewide the chance to weigh in on this important issue. The recent local votes and new legislative data should provide the basis for a robust debate in the legislature and we are excited to have it.”