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.