Recreational marijuana would become legal for people 21 or older in New Mexico and the state could tax marijuana sold in licensed stores under a bill introduced Thursday by state Rep. Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque.
House Bill 356 would establish a licensing system that supporters say favors small businesses and institute a 9 percent tax on marijuana for buyers who are not patients in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program.
The revenue would go for research and education as well as community grants for workforce training, substance misuse treatment, mental health treatment, and youth drug-education and prevention programs.
Cities and counties would be allowed to opt out of allowing retail marijuana sales.
“It’s time to be smart about the war on drugs,” Martínez told The New Mexican in an interview last week. He called the decadeslong state and federal anti-marijuana policies a failure.
“We have the chance to pass an innovative legalization bill that stays true to New Mexican values and what we care most about: the well-being of our children, healthy and safe communities, and a stronger economic future,” said Emily Kaltenbach, state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national organization that has been involved in drug policy reform efforts in the state for about 20 years. [Read more at Santa Fe Ne Mexican]