There are no less than three states in the Southwest that will be voting on marijuana legalization next month. Those states are California, Arizona, and Nevada. Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska are all Western States that have legalized recreational marijuana already. Marijuana legalization is sweeping through the Western half of the United States, and with the exception of maybe Idaho, I think that all Western States have strong momentum for reform.
The latest evidence of that is in New Mexico, where a recent poll found a whopping 61% support for marijuana legalization. Only 34% opposed marijuana legalization in the poll. Per Albuquerque Journal:
A majority of New Mexico voters – especially young ones – favor following Colorado’s lead in making marijuana legal for recreational use by adults, according to the latest Journal Poll.
Sixty-one percent of likely voters said they would support a proposal to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older, while 34 percent said they would oppose it. The remainder said they had mixed feelings or did not know.
The Journal survey also reveals a strong generational difference. More than four in five – 82 percent – of voters ages 18 to 34 said they would support a proposal to legalize pot for recreational use, while just 45 percent of those 65 and older expressed support.
Marijuana legalization is not on the ballot next month in New Mexico. Citizen initiatives are not allowed in New Mexico, only referendums. New Mexico’s Legislature needs to step up and give the citizens what they want, and get New Mexico on the right side of history. Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has failed, just like everywhere else it exists.
Medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico, but marijuana in any form without being a valid medical marijuana patient is a crime in New Mexico. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana (first offense) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $100. Possessing more than an ounce is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Cultivating any amount of marijuana is a felony in New Mexico, punishable by up to 9 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.