New Mexico and Arizona lawmakers promising marijuana legalization bills


Colorado’s legal pot sales may be the hot topic of pot news these days, but lawmakers in two neighboring states say they’ve got plants to legalize sales to adults 21 and up soon themselves.
An Arizona state representative and a New Mexico state Senator both say they are working on plans similar to the Colorado model that would legalize limited cannabis sales and possession for adults 21 and up.

“So this bill on my desk right now.. I’m reading the final draft,” Arizona state Rep. Ruben Gallego told Phoenix FOX affiliate KSAZ. “The whole goal of this bill is to regulate and tax this to the point where we no longer have these powerful cartels as powerful as they are now.”
Gallego says the bill is crafted much like Colorado’s laws, which allow adults 21 and up limited possession of up to an ounce of pot, home cultivation of up to six plants (and they can keep all that they cultivate in the home where it is grown), as well as sales through licensed retail outlets. He says he has preliminary support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle and that he plans to introduce the bill sometime next week.
“One of the things I saw in Colorado is long lines and that’s a good thing because what that shows you every time you see one person buying marijuana from a legal site, that’s one person not buying marijuana from the cartels or from the black market,” Gallego said.
Arizona voters might want it as well, with some polls showing as high as 56 percent approving of the legalization and regulation of limited amounts of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino.

In New Mexico, state Sen. Gerald Oritiz y Pino from Albuquerque says the start of legal sales in his neighboring state to the north has prompted him to push (again) for cannabis legalization amendment to the state’s constitution. He says voters in his state would approve the measures, it just has to get through the legislature
“We are going to go ahead and do it. I’m not sure we will have the support to pass it this year, I can’t imagine any Republicans voting for it, but it will be modeled on what Colorado has done,” Ortiz y Pino told Albuquerque Business First. “It basically reads as Colorado’s reads, and it is very simple, which is the state shall not prohibit the growing, possession and distribution of marijuana in New Mexico.
A February 2013 Research and Polling study showed that 52 percent of New Mexico voters supported legalizing and taxing cannabis.