Includes strong public health and safety provisions, investments in safety, education

Santa Fe- Today, a bill to regulate recreational cannabis use in New Mexico advanced in the House Health and Human Services Committee. House Bill 356, sponsored by Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), Rep. Debbie Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces), would include strong public health & safety provisions, and investments in safety and education.

“It’s time that we end the prohibition of cannabis,” said Rep. Javier Martinez. “The war on drugs has been a failure. It has not worked. This proposed legislation ensures that we lead the way with a legalization framework that protects medical cannabis patients, ensures public safety, and advances social justice for low income, communities of color.”

The bill includes a Community Reinvestment Fund that will be used to fund job placement, mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, legal services, medical care, prevention efforts, early intervention and outreach services, and education for youth.

House Bill 356 regulates the use, production, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products in New Mexico for adults over 21 years of age. The bill would create a responsible, tightly regulated system of approved licensees with a strict set of rules and regulations developed by the State Regulation and Licensing Department, and would be similar to the production and sale of tobacco or alcohol.

The bill now moves to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.