The New Mexico House of Representatives made a significant step forward for adult recreational use of marijuana in the state as Bill 356 passed with the support of Democrats (although a number of Democrats did not vote in support and the Republicans were opposed).
House Bill 356, also known as the “Cannabis Regulation Act”, is set to be heard in the Senate, but so far there are no hearings scheduled for the bill before any committee. The Senate Finance committee is the most likely to hear it, but the current question is whether Senator John Arthur Smith moves to schedule the bill.
Sen. Smith has already told the media he doesn’t believe the bill will be successful, considering the fact the finance committee is made up of five Republicans and seven Democrats, with no known supporters of the marijuana legalization movement.
Even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who says she supports the idea of marijuana legalization, has noted that the final week of the legislative session, which ended March 16, was not a time when marijuana legalization was a top priority for her.
Similar to the legalization bills passed in other states, House Bill 356 stipulates that investment must be made into public safety and education, as well as substance abuse treatment and road safety. All of this is incorporated into the marijuana legalization bill.
Legislators have different views of where the bill will be when the legislative session resumes.