SANTA FE (KRQE) - A state Senator wants voters to decide if New Mexico should legalize marijuana.
But first, he has to get the proposal through the legislature and opponents are already trying to stamp out the idea.
Bills to legalize marijuana have not received much of hearing at the Roundhouse lately. Now Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, wants to create a constitutional amendment and let voters have the final say.
"Permits to produce it, permits to sell it - all those could be revenue streams for local and state government," Ortiz y Pino said.
Ortiz y Pina says it's not just potential state revenues that have him interested in legalizing pot. He says punishing people for possessing small amounts of marijuana ties up police resources and makes an otherwise law-abiding citizen a criminal.
"We're also destroying a lot of lives in the process as we send people to jail or prosecute them," he said.
Ortiz y Pino wants to create a constitutional amendment to legalize it. If the joint resolution passes both chambers with a simple majority, then it would go on the ballot to let voters have the final say in 2014.
But the idea has many opponents, including the Governor's office.
"As a prosecutor and district attorney, the Governor has seen first-hand how illegal drug use destroys lives, especially among our youth, and she opposes drug legalization or decriminalization efforts, " Martinez said.
The Department of Public Safety is not convinced marijuana is tying up resources.
"In most cases of personal use, we're able to issue a citation and let them go about their business," said State Police Chief Robert Shilling.
Shilling says he's concerned about the effects to public health and safety, especially the potential to add more intoxicated drivers on the roads.
"From a Department of Public Safety perspective, there's just not enough data there," Shilling said. "It seems to be, for lack of a better term, a national experiment with a few states legalizing small amounts."
A recent Christmas Eve tradition that's become increasingly popular in Santa Fe has been shot down.
Police said a homeowner and his 11-year-old son stopped two burglars dead in their tracks. They walked in on the alleged heist, but weren't about to let the suspected thieves get away with it, and they got creative with the way they …
What happened to one of four local officers shot in a dramatic October chase now has the attention of city, county, and even state lawmakers as they discuss proposing a policy that would ensure she will be the last first responder to get …
Albuquerque police have now identified the suspect shot by officers on Sunday, and he's a man whose past includes at least one fight with police and several other violent incidents.
A pair of Lobo football players were honored by the Mountain West on Tuesday.
A Sheriff's Deputy who was fired for forging a certificate of completion for a training course she did not complete caught a break from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board.