SANTA FE, NM — Last night, Senate Bill 323 (sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes), decriminalizing 1/2 an ounce or less of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, passed the New Mexico House of Representatives by a vote of 44-20.
The bill already passed the Senate 30-8. The bill now heads to Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s desk for consideration.
“Ending the criminalization of marijuana in New Mexico is a strong step toward taxing and regulating marijuana for adults and represents bipartisan support on an issue that was untouchable a few years ago. It gives us confidence that New Mexico will legalize marijuana in the coming years, finally ending the havoc criminalization has wreaked on black, brown and Native communities,” Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.
“This bill ensures that until we do legalize, people will not have their lives destroyed by being criminalized and stigmatized for possessing marijuana for their personal use. Decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia will improve lives, save taxpayer’s dollars, and reduce the burden on law enforcement resources,” Kaltenbach added.