HomepoliticsNew Mexico Parliament supported the bill of regional legalization of recreational cannabis
April 1, 2019
New Mexico Parliament supported the bill of regional legalization of recreational cannabis
Last Thursday, after a lengthy debate, the New Mexico State Parliament was able to adopt a bill aimed at legalizing production and distributing recreational cannabis in the region. This draft, numbered 356, has been hanging in the state legislature since last year, until last week its main sponsor, the Democrat MP, Jim Jimenez, presented to his colleagues a somewhat modified, compromise version, including a number of points proposed by reform skeptics . In fact, the amended version of the bill will include some of the provisions from another, more conservative reform project, previously submitted to the Legislative Assembly by the Senator Republican, Mark Mures. As a result, the bill was successfully adopted by the lower house parliament by a margin of two votes. The project was mainly supported by representatives of the Democratic Party.
According to the provisions of the bill, adult residents and guests of the state will be allowed to legally purchase marijuana for personal use in specialty stores. On your person it will be allowed to store up to an ounce of hemp, ready for use, provided that the receipt, confirming the legitimacy of the purchase, is kept. Basically, the product will be distributed by a special state corporation, whose stores will be located in every district and large city of the state. The law also provides for certification of private stores, but they can serve only those regions of the state that are more than 25 miles from official state stores. Unfortunately, the home cultivation of recreational hemp fell victim to a compromise, however, the project still includes provisions
As noted Martinez, he is not satisfied with many of the amendments made by the conservatives in the draft. In particular, he considers the provision on the need to store checks on the purchase of cannabis as an extremely excessive precautionary measure that can bring a lot of problems to law-abiding consumers of the plant.
“Technically, a state citizen can be in custody only because he could not provide a check for legally acquired marijuana. I consider such measures to control cannabis turnover to be too strict, however, they are a modest concession that can be made to successfully adopt legalization.”
– Martinez notes .
In terms of plant production, it is assumed that a special market regulation bureau created under the state government will also certify private plantations and issue work licenses to them. With each sale of recreational hemp, a tax of 17% of the value of the goods will be charged. In general, the authors of the project expect that every year of work, the cannabis market will bring about 40-50 million dollars in profits to the treasury of the region.
Before the day of discussion of the adoption of the bill, Martinez gave an interview to local media, putting forward in him a rather pragmatic argument in favor of legalization.
“We have known for quite some time that, in fact, hemp is much less dangerous to human health than alcohol or tobacco. So why then should this industry, which is already generating billions of dollars of legal profits in other regions of our country, have to remain under a strict ban in New Mexico? ”
– He said .
Local business leaders support cannabis reform:
At the beginning of last week, the local newspaper, Albuquerque Business First, held a public forum to which many major businessmen from the region were invited. The event was devoted to the issue of possible economic benefits for the region from the legalization of recreational cannabis. In general, most of the forum visitors, led by Shannon Yaramillo, president of NM Staffing, one of the largest private employers in the region, expressed support for carrying out such reforms as soon as possible.
“In my opinion, even one modest cannabis store in a major city in the region will be able to generate more revenue in a year than local casinos and festivals put together,” the entrepreneur notes with undisguised enthusiasm. “I have no doubt that the legalization of cannabis will help us visibly stimulate the economy of the entire region in the shortest possible time.”
In turn, a small group of businessmen, led by the restaurateur, Yoshoda Naidu, reacted with skepticism to the proposal for reform, suggesting that the availability of cannabis, in some way, will negatively affect the health and longevity of citizens.
“I have no doubt that the sale of cannabis will bring millions in profits to the region, however, I am afraid that the availability of the drug will have an extremely negative impact on the level of health of New Mexico residents, as well as on the level of public security in the region,”
– she said in an interview.
Nevertheless, the restaurateur does not deny the possibility of benefiting from the reform by strictly regulating the cannabis market and its partial integration with the existing business in the region.
“It is quite possible that we will be able to avoid such risks of legalization if we can harmoniously integrate the new market into the local business environment,” notes Miss Naidu. “Of course, this issue is subject to further discussion, since not every type of business can be combined with legalized marijuana.”
Cannabis bill goes to the Senate:
At the moment, the further fate of the new bill will depend on the decision of the state Senate, which will have to come to a decision on its adoption or rejection before the end of the week. If successful, the project will go to the table of Democrat Governor Michel Grish, who has previously indicated that she will sign a legalization project that meets certain public safety standards, such as banning the sale of cannabis to minors, as well as providing legal protection to the market for medical marijuana and its clients.