SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Monday afternoon, finalizing the bill that will allow pot sales in New Mexico. It’s been a long time coming, and lawmakers celebrated their accomplishment.
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Starting in 90-days, people will be allowed to grow their own pot for personal use and can have as much as two ounces on them. Pot sales will become legal next April. Recreational marijuana will not be allowed in public places, only in private homes and licensed businesses.
Lawmakers on Monday said this legislation will not only fuel the economy, they estimate it could bring in nearly $320 million in the first year, and create more than 11,000 jobs over several years. They also believe it will be the first step in rolling back on the war on drugs because people previously convicted of a marijuana-related crime could become eligible for expungement.
“I’m proud that New Mexico now joins the 15 or 16 other states that have legalized cannabis for adult use,” said Representative Javier Martinez. “Putting pressure on the federal government to eventually legalize what is essentially just an agricultural product,” said Martinez.
The governor says Corrections has already identified more than 100-people who are eligible for review and could be eligible for early release as a result of cannabis posession. She says New Mexico State Police have found more than 100-people eligible for expungement, but they have to go through a review process first. Marijuana will have an excise tax of 12% that will go toward local and county governments.