New Mexico: Governor indicators marijuana legalization, automated eradication measures into legislation
Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today signed two separate measures amending the state’s marijuana policy. The first measure (House Bill 2) legalizes and regulates the possession, production and sale of adult marijuana. The second measure (Senate Law 2) facilitates the automatic review and deletion of the records of those convicted of low-level marijuana crimes.
Legislators approved both bills during a special term called for by Governor Lujan Grisham, who had been vocal in favor of the reforms.
Carly Wolf, NORML State Policy Manager, said: “This is a day to celebrate! New Mexico will benefit greatly from this new source of income and the creation of thousands of jobs. Most importantly, legalization will save thousands of otherwise law-abiding residents from arrest and criminal records, and the state’s new deportation law will help relieve many people who suffer the stigma and other collateral consequences associated with a previous marijuana conviction . ”
Erik Altieri, NORML’s Executive Director, added, “New Mexico joins an ever-growing list of states that have recognized the failure of the marijuana ban and the harm it has caused to their communities and citizens. The American people are calling for an end to the forbidden policies that have ravaged the color communities, wasted countless millions in tax dollars, and wasted limited resources on justice and law enforcement criminalizing otherwise law-abiding individuals for owning a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol or Tobacco. “
The adult use measure (House Bill 2) allows people 21 and older to legally purchase up to two ounces of marijuana and / or up to 16 grams of cannabis extract from licensed retailers. Also, adults can grow up to six full-grown plants at home for personal use. Retail sales would begin in April 2022. Activities involving personal cannabis possession will be depenalized on June 29, 2021, the date the new law comes into effect.
The deletion measure (Senate Act 2) provides that persons with previous convictions for criminal offenses legalized under this law are entitled to automatically delete their records. Those currently incarcerated for such crimes can dismiss their sentence. It is estimated that more than 150,000 New Mexico residents can be automatically wiped as part of this measure, according to the Department of Public Safety.