2019 has been a great year for marijuana so far. In February alone, bills to legalize cannabis are advancing in several states.
The legislation for the legalization of marijuana is moving up in the state Senate. In a 5 to 2 vote, the bill to sell marijuana in state-run stores got approval from the Senate Public Affairs committee.
Although Republicans did not vote for the bill, and many Democrats voted against it, New Mexico may soon be the 11th state to allow recreational use of marijuana.
The House Bill will not only legalize recreational use of marijuana, but will also invest in the public safety of the community, including substance abuse treatment, road safety, and education. This will ultimately open up plenty of new jobs which will lower the unemployment rates in the state.
The benefits of legalizing marijuana
There’s no doubt about the fact that there are several benefits of legalizing marijuana and marijuana-based products. For example, ever since more and more U.S. states have legalized MJ, the rates of marijuana usage by underage individuals have significantly decreased.
The economic benefits of legalizing marijuana are more than evident, as well, which is why so many states have decided to legalize it.
Legalizing marijuana will create plenty of new jobs, especially in nurseries and dispensaries.
Obviously, it also benefits marijuana users, whether they use it for medicinal reasons or recreationally. As it becomes legal in more parts of the country, the price will ultimately drop.
House Bill 356 allows people who are 21 and older to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana. However, if caught with more than that, the individual in question will face severe criminal charges.
Furthermore, retail cannabis stores will get licenses in order to be able to sell marijuana legally. The proceeds will go towards research, education, substance misuse treatment, community grants for workforce training, mental health treatment, drug education, and prevention youth programs.
Amendments to the House Bill
The Public Affairs committee added some changes to the per diem rates for regulatory commission members. These changes meant that the legislation would need to go through another vote.
The legislation originally allowed home cultivation. However, that was changed after a 36 to 34 vote against the matter. Ultimately, cultivating recreational marijuana is strictly banned, however, patients are allowed to grow their own medical marijuana.
Furthermore, people in possession of marijuana must carry their purchase receipts with them in order to avoid being charged with illegal possession.
Overall, the adoption of Bill created a similar sales model to the ones in Colorado and Washington. However, allowing marijuana sales in state-run stores hasn’t been approved in other states.
Ultimately, the 2-ounce limit was lowered to 1 ounce. That means individuals caught with more than that will be criminally charged.
In the end, the legalization of marijuana could be incredibly beneficial to the state. However, whether the pros will outweigh the cons is yet to be seen.