In a surprise move, lawmakers in the New Mexico Senate Committee have voted 5-4 on Thursday in favour of a bill that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults age 21 and older.
New Mexico lawmakers and citizens would have been closely watching neighboring Colorado’s growing legal marijuana market which has seen crime rates drop and employment rates increase since it was legalised for the recreational market. Not lost on the lawmakers is the increase of $40-$50 million in tax revenue that Colorado has raked in since the short time it has been legalised.
To date, 23 states have legalized medical cannabis, and many more have passed some effort toward marijuana policy reform. Currently, four states and Washington D.C. have passed legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes.