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Marijuana Legalization Resolution Introduced In New Mexico Senate

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new mexico marijuanaPublic Opinion and Wasted Tax Dollars Push Legislator to Fix Broken Marijuana Policies

Colorado, Washington, and Now Uruguay Offer Sensible Models and Precedent for Reform

This week, New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino (D-12-Bernalillo) pre-filed Senate Joint Resolution 10 (SJR10) proposing to amend the New Mexico’s constitution to tax and regulate marijuana for adult use.  SJR10 would allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older and for the regulation of the production, sale and taxation of marijuana in New Mexico. If SJR10 passes, both the house and the senate, the amendment will be placed on the November 2014 ballot for the voters to decide.

“New Mexico’s voters should be given the opportunity to decide on this issue.  Other states’ experience can help us formulate an approach that will end the problems created by prohibition while protecting juveniles.  Because of the disparate impact the failed “war on drugs” has had on minorities and the poor, we are ruining lives, wasting money and missing economic development opportunities,” said Sen. Ortiz y Pino. ”

Colorado made world history on January 1 when commercial sales of marijuana became legal for adults. New Year’s Day marked full implementation of Amendment 64, Colorado’s successful 2012 ballot initiative. And, in December, Uruguay became the first country to adopt a marijuana legalization law.

“Smart elected officials on both sides of the aisle are starting to align themselves with voters that support controlling marijuana in new ways. They are realizing that supporting marijuana reform is not a detriment on the campaign trail, and in fact it can be a key asset to electoral success,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance. “With a majority of New Mexico voters in favor of legalizing marijuana for adults, it is time for our state legislators to listen to their constituents.”

A 2013 state poll conducted by Research and Polling found a majority of New Mexico’s registered voters (52%) say they support legalizing marijuana for adults, including 50% of independents and 60% of parents with children under the age of 18.  Thirty-one percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for their legislator if they supported reducing penalties or taxing and regulating marijuana.

Harvard University professor of economics Jeffrey Miron concluded that New Mexico could bring in between $19 – $20.82 million annually in marijuana tax revenues alone and by ending marijuana prohibition, the state of New Mexico could save over $33 million on police, courts and corrections costs of enforcing existing marijuana laws.

“We’ve tried marijuana prohibition for decades, and it’s clearly failed. It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in the criminalization of millions of people, gross racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We need to rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms. Tackling these issues will require a vigorous, informed debate, and Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution offers a place for these discussions.”

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. DPA fights for drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights.

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

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  • Jamie Guest

    In AZ they are quite happy with the fact that most of those who would support legalization have had the right to vote taken away for a felony possession charge already. I would sign every petition but my sig won’t count and there are a whole lot of people like me unfortunately

  • Jamie Guest

    I’ve always thought that voting was an independent choice and wondered why everybody thinks they have to remain in party. Gone is independent thinking and personal choice…now it seems its a theory but nobody follows it when voting. I have heard people say (esp during romney/obama) “well i’m a democrat so i have to vote for him” HUH?

  • Patrick

    I mean we eat many leafy green vegetables and they are considered healthy smoking them will not harm you

  • Patrick

    Yes I highly agree marijuana should be legal and I agree with Obama as well its less harmful then alcohol

  • Salted Meats

    Obama favors tyranny. He has used his bureaus against entrepreneurs in states that have approved marijuana use in some form or another with great ferocity. Everyone that favors legalization should think outside party affiliation in the next election. Democrats are just as much at fault for keeping marijuana illegal as are republicans. If this issue is important to anyone, let this be the issue that gets you to vote for freedom and against tyranny.

  • Salted Meats

    Does anyone know if there is an advocate group working in New Mexico to push this?? I’d love to get involved in helping the cause in Curry County (which likely won’t vote in favor for this important change to the state constitution).

  • Rodney

    Isnt that the field office for the DEA there? Or is it the NSA?

  • Rodney

    It’s stunning how not one person brings up how Obama flapped his soup coolers, while campaigning for the presidency, saying he would consider cannabis legalization. The minions of non voters who toke, flocked to the polls and “voted”. The day after this guy wins he totally lies and denies anything referring to his “consideration of legalization” statements. Never any of you people bring this up, never.

  • painkills2

    Sometimes, people use pets to distract themselves from their pain and anxieties. Taking care of a pet makes you feel good about yourself, plus you gain a friend. But it’s a lot of work to take are of a pet (even fish), and it’s expensive.

    People also use plants in the same way. And it takes a lot of work to care for a plant. Any plant. (Well, it’s a lot of work for me, it’s probably a lot easier for others.) I don’t know how much I’ve spent on plants throughout my life before I figured out that, no, this isn’t working. As beautiful as plants are, I’m throwing my money away. (Never a good thing.) Now add in the fact that it would take hundreds of dollars (probably more) to set up an indoor grow, and growing that medicinal plant becomes even more stressful.

    See, I’m trying to AVOID stress… :D

  • mlh harris

    Just say yes grow your own! No taxes and pay no one!

  • mlh harris

    It’s time we end this Psycho- Pharmacological McCarthyism
    We should not use our citizens as commodity in For Profit Prison System and Funding our law enforement.Legal cannabis taxes should be earmarked for our schools and health care. And state taxes should not be cut when state start running surplus do to the windfall in cannabis taxes. .if we really care about “the children” legalize cannabis and use the taxes and help college students get a start in life by not having students in debt. And to help to real estate market New Mexico should allow “smoke and coffee shops”!

  • Jamie Guest

    If NM can legalize maybe AZ will get smarter huh? LOL

  • Jamie Guest

    You need to go away because you really aren’t very “bright”

  • 2buds4me

    I hope the 2 officers involved get fired. It would be good to do a follow-up story in 6 months to find out what the total cost was for them to abuse their power.

  • painkills2

    To New Mexicans in the medical cannabis program: Legalization is the only way to bring down prices for our medicine.
    To other New Mexican cannabis lovers: Get off your butt, register to vote, and let’s get this thing passed. Okay? Okay.

  • Sarijuana

    The suit was against the City of Deming and Hidalgo County Next he will be suing the hospital and doctors. I wish him well. He was not the only one they did this to.

  • Jdub

    No way. With one of the worst school systems in the country New Mexicans need their money going to victims of police brutality.

  • Tim Cook

    yeah nm

  • gr8basin

    the NM courts have also awarded the NM man who was medically assaulted by LEO in a futile drug search, a settlement of 1.6 million dollars for police wrong doing. Bet the citizens of New Mexico could have used the money for new schools or roads instead of using it to settle for some LEO assault in the “War on Drugs”.