SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state is pushing ahead in its effort to legalize recreational pot in New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham set up a task force to craft a new law to legalize pot, and they met for the first time.
They basically went through a lot of housekeeping measures on Wednesday, but officials spearheading the program said they want to create something most New Mexicans can agree with.
“I think this is a good start to bring a lot of people that are going to be impacted by the legalization of cannabis, and bring all of the concerns and great ideas, to come up with something that has the best potential to help the state,” said State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, (R) Roswell.
“I think the governor made it clear she wants to see a bill on her desk, and that she’s willing to sign this, and the details matter and she wants the legislature to work those out ahead of time so the public knows what they’re getting,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis.
The task force is lead by Councilor Davis, but it’s also made up of state and local representatives, as well as people in law enforcement and drug policy groups, just to name a few. The group will go through marijuana laws in other states, like Colorado and Nevada, which passed recreation marijuana use, and look at the pros and cons from those policy-making decisions. KRQE News 13 met up with people in the medical marijuana business in Bernalillo County who said they welcome the legalization of recreational use.
“This has huge tourism opportunities,” said CEO of Ultra Health Duke Rodriguez. “I think this is the biggest economic boom to New Mexico since the oil boom.”
They’re using the original State House bill that was backed by Democrats and almost made it through the two chambers last session as a starting place for a potential bill. That bill went through some major changes from Senate Republicans who wanted the state to regulate recreation cannabis.
KRQE News 13 asked Sen. Pirtle, who is part of this group, if he thinks there will be enough votes this time around to legalize marijuana. The senator said it’s too early to tell but hopes this task force will help get the job done.
The task force has an official website to post about its agendas and when it will meet for transparency purposes.