New Mexico House Votes in Favor of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
The New Mexico House of Representatives narrowly passed a compromise measure Thursday night that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state. Representatives had been debating House Bill 356, the Cannabis Regulation Act. But one hour into discussions, Democratic Rep. Javier Martinez, the bill’s sponsor, introduced a “compromised floor substitute” that incorporates provisions of a Senate legalization measure, Senate Bill 577 by Republican Sen. Mark Moores. The substitute bill was approved by the House with a vote of 36-34, with all Republican representatives and 10 Democrats voting against the bill.
Under the compromise, adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use, provided they also have a receipt for the marijuana from a licensed source. Cannabis would be available primarily from retail shops operated by the state, similar to some states regulation of alcohol sales. Privately owned dispensaries would only be allowed in areas that do not have a state-run marijuana outlet within 25 miles. Home cultivation of recreational cannabis would not be permitted, although registered medical marijuana patients would still be able to grow their medicine.
Martinez characterized requirements for a receipt to be carried with legal cannabis