The ‘Breaking Bad’ state to introduce recreational marijuana legislation
Behind the scenes efforts in New Mexico could result in recreational marijuana legalization in the state. State Rep. Javier Martinez, who has sponsored recreational marijuana legislation every year he has held office, is working on a complicated legalization effort that is five years in the making. The potential proposal focuses on three fundamental principles.
Martinez wants to assure that there is a strategic tax framework that doesn’t overtax an industry in the early phases of development and a regulatory system that doesn’t burden future small business owners. The proposal will also focus on repairing communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Lastly, he wants to expand the state’s medical cannabis program. However, there is plenty Martinez is not happy will be left out of his 2021 proposal, including earmarks, restorative justice, community investment, and social equity.
With the new legislation being a bipartisan effort in the state, Martinez is hopeful that his proposal will be received by both parties positively in both chambers. Democratic Gov. Michelle Grisham supports legalization efforts, stating that it will create jobs in the state and could generate millions for local economies.
However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is skeptical of recreational marijuana legalization and bringing recreational marijuana dispensaries to Arizona. According to Special Agent Kyle Williamson, legalization increases black market activity. Government’s considering legalization in the past have considered how black market competition will interfere with legal, state-authorized sales. Some have gone as far to suggest that the legal cannabis market will be unable to compete with the black market.
Despite concerns, marijuana bills are anticipated to be introduced in the state’s legislature as early as next week. New Mexico is currently one out of 35 states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. While 15 states have legalized it for recreational use, the Breaking Bad state continues to face challenges they have yet to overcome.