KRQE News 13 spoke with a political analyst from the University of New Mexico on this issue. He said whether it’s left up to lawmakers or through the voters, this will be a highly debated bill.
“Let’s put it on the call in the next 30-day session, let’s just do that,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham back in March 2019.
After the 2019 legislative session, Governor Lujan Grisham made it clear she wants to legalize recreational cannabis, and Wednesday, she put it on her call list for this upcoming 30-day legislative session.
“Obviously there’s a lot to be determined, this is an issue that will get a lot of attention,” said UNM political analyst Gabe Sanchez.
Since Democrats are in the majority in the House and Senate, KRQE News 13 asked Sanchez if this pot bill will pass, but he said it’s tough to say.
“I think it faces some tough questions, not only among Republicans but also with moderate Democrats,” said Sanchez. “A number of folks have already suggested they might not be supportive of this.”
So would legalization have a better chance if the voters decide? Sanchez said again, it’s hard to tell.
“A lot of people speculate that putting it off to the voters as a constitutional amendment, or ballot initiative, it would essentially drive up turnout perception-wise among Democrats,” said Sanchez. “Logic being, you have a lot of people interested in this, primarily younger individuals across the state, primarily more progressive, liberal, obviously would line up with the Democratic side of the equation. The other thing, there’s been some recent polling that suggests voters aren’t as supportive of this as previous polls have suggested.”
Sanchez said the biggest hurdle this bill is facing is time.
“Keep in mind, it’s a short session, and [the governor] actually jammed packed this with a lot of interesting issues with a high probability that this doesn’t even make it, so we might have this conversation of putting it to the voters after all of this is said and done,” said Sanchez.
Between sessions, the governor put together a task force to work out the specifics of a bill legalizing pot, hoping to create a middle-ground piece of legislation.