The Next State To Legalize Marijuana? Some State Lawmakers Hope So

SANTA FE, N.M. — Democratic state lawmakers in New Mexico are redoubling efforts for marijuana legalization and tax sales for recreational use to shore up plunging state revenues and give the economy a boost.

Sponsors of parallel bills in the Senate and House announced their proposal to regulate marijuana sales and apply a 15 percent state sales tax.

Local governments would choose whether to allow marijuana sales within their jurisdictions and could collect an additional 5 percent tax, while cultivation would be allowed statewide, under a proposal modeled after marijuana laws in Colorado.

“We create jobs, we create economic activity and we create revenues for the state,” said Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, who plans to introduce the Senate version of the bill later this week. “It is one way this state has, and I think one of the most promising ways, to get back on track economically.”

The Legislature is working to close a major deficit and shore up depleted operating reserves amid a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors and a sluggish economy. State agency spending was trimmed 2.4 percent in October and more cuts are proposed for the fiscal year starting July 1 if new tax revenues fail to materialize.

Former district attorney and Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has consistently opposed legalizing marijuana and industrial hemp production, and has held fast to vows again new taxes…

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Source: High Finance Report