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New Mexico Gov. begins push for legal marijuana

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham began her push to try to win over skeptics on the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana use on Thursday, telling Albuquerque business leaders the policy shift would immediately create 11,000 jobs and generate tax dollars that could be used on public safety programs.

With a 30-day legislative session scheduled to start next week, the first-term Democratic governor has made cannabis legalization one of her top priorities, even as Roundhouse insiders have suggested it might not have enough votes to get through the state Senate.

“Recreational cannabis is an economic game-changer,” Lujan Grisham said during a luncheon hosted by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

Specifically, she said, legalizing marijuana could open new career options for younger New Mexicans, while also suggesting it could catalyze new research into cannabis’ medicinal properties.

“It is an incredibly important opportunity,” Lujan Grisham said. “We are serious about getting it passed.”

However, the marijuana legalization bill is likely to face significant hurdles – in the form of skepticism from moderate Democrats and most Republicans – after failing to clear both legislative chambers in recent years. [Read more at Albuquerque Journal]

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