If and when New Mexico legalizes, the state would do so through a tax-and-regulate program at the offset, being modeled after nearby states’ legal cannabis programs, she adds. “
As one of the last states to recover from the recession, New Mexico needs to be growing its economy in a healthy way, she says.
Both Ortiz y Pino and Martinez agree New Mexico is only a few years away from legalization. According to Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, a New Mexico-based economist, legalization could bring in up to $400 million in the first year alone and create more than 11,000 new jobs.
“You’ve got to remember New Mexico is a minority-majority state, and our community has been gravely impacted by drug addiction and drug abuse. “
Martinez’s family is originally from Juarez, Mexico; he’s lost family members to the Drug War. “That’s a problem in a state like New Mexico, especially when you have Native Americans and Mexicans impacted by the War on Drugs altogether. ” There are families in New Mexico who’ve been there for generations: “They didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them,” Martinez explains. “New Mexico is the heroin capital of the world; a little community up in Chimayo has one of the highest per capita overdose rates in the country. Within New Mexico’s Republican party, support for legalization depends on age. When you get over that, you’re dealing with 80 years of lies and propaganda, and it becomes difficult,” says Heath Grider, board member of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Patients Advocates Alliance, of the New Mexico hemp board, and Contract Grow New Mexico. We’ll legalize within two years after we get a new governor.