This week the New Mexico House took a vote to legalize recreational marijuana. The bill passed without any Republican votes and even some Democrats were against it.
The bill’s prime sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Javier Martinez had said that he had worked with three Republicans in the state Senate to craft a compromise. According to Martinez, the bill was a “grand bargain” with a group of Senate Republicans.
The bill was narrowly approved 36-34 on Thursday following a late-night floor debate.
“You can face criminal charges if you don’t have a receipt or other proof of purchase on your person to accompany your cannabis for personal use,” said Martinez.
As part of the bill, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana would be considered legal but only with a receipt in hand. Home-grown cannabis was ruled out and private dispensaries would be allowed where there is no state-run marijuana store within 25 miles.
The oversight of the industry would be shared by state agriculture, health and environmental officials.
The bill would also repeal criminal laws governing cannabis offenses and expunge and destroy criminal conviction records. It also eliminates taxes on medical marijuana while taxes of up to 17 percent would be levied on recreational marijuana sales.
“I don’t like this direction,” said Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences. “My choice would be that we give people really active and productive lives and healthy families.”