Senator continues fight to legalize marijuana in New Mexico

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – As more and more states legalize marijuana, efforts in New Mexico have failed year after year. Yet, the senator behind the measure isn’t giving up anytime soon.

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) says with every legislative session, he believes he garners a little more support.

Senate Joint Resolution 4 is a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for recreational use in New Mexico. The resolution would go to the voters to decide. It just needs a simple majority in the House and Senate, first.

Sen. Ortiz y Pino is confident that he’s slowly but surely gaining support from previously hesitant Democrats. Yet, Republicans remain staunchly opposed, with many citing objection to the idea of altering the constitution for this.

If lawmakers were to approve the measure this year, it would be on the November ballot alongside the gubernatorial candidates.

“I do think that some of the Republican opposition to this constitutional amendment is a real recognition that this would increase turnout immensely among precisely that segment of voters who would be more likely to vote Democrat than Republican. Not all of them, but more likely,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino said.

Speaking of a new governor, if the measure fails again this year but the new governor comes out in favor of legalizing pot, Ortiz y Pino has no doubt it will finally pass.

The measure passed a Senate committee Friday morning. It has one more committee before it goes to the Senate floor for a vote, then over to the House.

Ortiz y Pino says the furthest the measure ever got was to the Senate floor in 2016, but it did not pass.To contact your New Mexico legislator, click here. 

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