Please reach out to your lawmakers in support of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults!
The effort to legalize cannabis for adult use in the Land of Enchantment will now shift to 2021.
Unfortunately, the legislature wrapped up its 2020 legislative session yesterday without advancing SB 115 — a bill that would have legalized, taxed, and regulated cannabis for adults and provided automatic expungements of past cannabis convictions.
Keep up the pressure by taking a moment to let your lawmakers know you want them to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with sensible regulation!
This year’s effort fell short when the Senate Judiciary Committee decided (6-4) to table SB 115. The bill was approved (4-3) by the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) — who made legalization one of her 2020 legislative priorities — supported the bill.
Poll after poll has shown that the majority of New Mexicans support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham again voiced her support for getting it done.
Urge your lawmakers to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adult use. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in New Mexico and encourage them to do the same.
With just eight days left in 2020’s short legislative session, the New Mexico Legislature is considering SB 115, which would legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults.
Last year, the House approved a legalization bill, but it was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee. Make sure SB 115 doesn’t meet a similar fate: Please take a moment to email your state senator and representative and ask them to support SB 115!
The Senate Public Affairs Committee approved the bill (4-3), and it must now clear both the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Finance Committee before heading to the Senate floor.
SB 115 would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower and purchase cannabis products from licensed retailers. The bill also provides for automatic expungements of past cannabis convictions.
Although Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) supports legalization and has included it in her 2020 legislative agenda, SB 115 must clear the legislature to make it to her desk. Keep the pressure up by contacting your lawmakers and asking them to support SB 115!
It is past time the Land of Enchantment end cannabis prohibition and replace it with sensible regulation. A poll commissioned by the governor-appointed marijuana working group found that three out of four voters in the state support legalizing cannabis for adult use.
After you email your legislators, please forward this message to your friends and family in New Mexico and encourage them to do the same.
New Mexico becomes the 24th state to decriminalize marijuana.
On Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed SB 323, which decriminalizes up to half an ounce of marijuana. Starting on July 1, the penalty for possessing up to half an ounce of marijuana will be a $50 civil fine, instead of potential jail time.
Unfortunately, a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults died in the Senate Finance Committee after passing the House. Adults should have access to safe, regulated places to purchase marijuana, and 60% of New Mexico voters agree, according to a poll from last year.
Please reach out to your lawmakers in support of marijuana legalization. Then, share the good news about decriminalization by forwarding this email to friends and family.
If you live in New Mexico, contact the governor today in support of decriminalization!
Over the weekend, in the waning hours of the legislative session, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed SB 323, a bill that decriminalizes marijuana possession. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). Gov. Grisham is expected to sign the bill.
SB 323 would remove the criminal penalties for possessing up to a half ounce of marijuana and instead institute a $50 fine. Currently, the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, if it's your first offense, is up to 15 days in jail and a maximum fine of $150. If it's your second offense with less than an ounce of marijuana, you could face up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Unfortunately, bills to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana did not make it out of committee in the Senate, after passing the House. Nonetheless, removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession is a great step towards more sane and compassionate marijuana policy. So, please contact the governor today and ask her to sign SB 323. Then, forward this email to friends and family and ask that they reach out to the governor, too. Together, we can bring more sensible marijuana laws to New Mexico.
Yesterday, the New Mexico Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 323, a bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana. However, there is no guarantee that the House will schedule a vote on the bill.
Marijuana decriminalization will allow for law enforcement to better prioritize their resources. It also means that otherwise law-abiding adults won't face jail time and criminal records for using a substance safer than alcohol. Last year, over 2,000 marijuana possession cases were filed in the New Mexico courts!
While decriminalization is a step in the right direction, ultimately, marijuana should be legalized for adults and taxed and regulated like alcohol. There are two legalization bills being considered, HB 356 and SB 577. The House bill, HB 356, received favorable votes out of committee and is currently on the floor calendar and may be voted on soon.
Please contact your lawmakers, urging them to support both the decriminalization bill and taxing and regulating marijuana.
Together, we can end harsh penalties for marijuana possession and finally make marijuana legal in New Mexico.
Do you know where your candidates stand on marijuana policy?
New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.
Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.
Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.
Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!
Yesterday, Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Tim Keller signed an ordinance that decriminalizes simple possession of marijuana under city law.
Once the ordinance goes into effect, the city’s penalty for under an ounce of marijuana will be a $25 civil fine. It will go into effect five days after it is published by the city clerk. Council members Pat Davis and Isaac Benton sponsored the ordinance, which passed the council in a 5-4 vote.
Police Chief Mike Geier voiced his support, saying, ”This new legislation allows officers to focus on violent crime, property crime and drunk driving.”
It will still be possible for a person to be charged under the statewide penalty — a fine of up to $50, up to 15 days in jail, or both. If you are a New Mexico resident, please let your state legislators know you want the state follow suit and stop criminalizing marijuana consumers.
Earlier this year, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed H.B. 527, which would have strengthened and expanded the state’s medical cannabis program. Among other changes, the bill would have created legal protections for agency staff and employees of labs, product manufacturers, and others; added protections for patients visiting from other medical cannabis states; and expanded qualifying medical conditions.
Patients and their families then called on Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher to adopt similar provisions, which the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had already recommended. Despite the support of the board and the Legislature, Secretary Gallagher announced that she is rejecting most of the recommended changes, while reserving judgment on some issues.
Although this development is deeply disappointing, the fight isn’t over. Marijuana policy reform is always a difficult battle, but across the country, medical programs continue to expand while public support grows stronger.
Thanks to the hard work of advocates like our colleagues at the Drug Policy Alliance and other committed activists, an enormous amount of progress has already been made in New Mexico — which was the first state to explicitly allow medical marijuana for PTSD. With continued determination, more improvements will surely be on the horizon.
MPP has formally endorsed Libertarian Party nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson in the race for president. Johnson is one of two candidates who received an "A+" grade in MPP's presidential candidate report card.
Below is a statement from our Executive Director, Rob Kampia, that contextualizes MPP's endorsement.
"MPP is a single-issue organization, and our mission is simple: 'Regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol in the United States.' We don't take a position -- and we therefore don't take into account a candidate's position -- on other issues, such as abortion, guns, gay rights, Iraq, taxes, or Social Security. We also don't work in Canada or Portugal.
"Of the three presidential candidates who will appear on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., Gary Johnson clearly has the best position on marijuana policy. When he first advocated for legalization in 1999, he was the highest-ranking public official in the U.S. to do so -- as the sitting Republican governor of New Mexico, no less.
"Shortly after he left office, Johnson and I drove around New England lobbying the governors of VT and RI, the speaker of the NH House, and staffers in the NY governor's office. Johnson is a forceful advocate for legalization and is still one of MPP's strongest allies.
"Legalization has been Johnson's number-one issue for 17 years. MPP's endorsement of Johnson was an easy call; the more difficult question is whether MPP should support a candidate who's good on medical marijuana but bad on legalization, when the candidate is facing an opponent who's bad on everything.
"It's fine if voters prefer to consider a candidate's marijuana position in the context of a dozen other positions, but that's not MPP's mission. We're narrowly focused on marijuana policy and are happy to work alongside anyone who shares our mission, whether they're Socialists, Republicans, or otherwise."
SB 383 would have replaced criminal penalties for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana with a $50 civil fine. It also would have removed the possibility of jail time for possession of up to eight ounces. Although SB 383 passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote, the House did not take it up. It is disappointing that the New Mexico House chose not to review a bill that would have reduced the punishment for individuals who possessed a substance safer than alcohol.
Time ran out not only on decriminalization — but also, fortunately, on a harmful bill that would have unfairly targeted marijuana consumers. HB 120 would have declared anyone with an extremely small amount of THC per milliliter of blood guilty of driving under the influence — even if the person could prove they were actually not impaired! HB 120 passed in the House, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.