A bill that would legalize marijuana had an up-hill battle this session and now it has stalled indefinitely.
Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park, introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana while allowing the state to tax and regulate the sales. The legislation was tabled, in a near-unanimous vote, in the House Agriculture Water and Wildlife Committee on Friday.
The bill’s future looked grim from the start, as it was assigned to five committees. Three committee assignments is seen as a difficult road to travel. In addition to the committee assignments, Gov. Susana Martinez has said she would not support such a bill.
McCamley said he knew what he was up against. He has told New Mexico Political Report that he introduced the legislation in order to work out any potential issues and that he knew it didn’t have a good chance in committee.
“It was given five committees, which is basically the kiss of death,” McCamley said. “Republican leadership obviously didn’t want this to go anywhere.”
In the audience was former Republican Representative and current mayor of Roswell, Dennis Kintigh. He stood in opposition of McCamley’s bill and told the committee he thought recreational marijuana is bad for New Mexico.
Kintigh told New Mexico Political Report that he does not like medical marijuana either. He said there are other underlying issues related to mental health in the state that need to be addressed.
“I think alcohol abuse leads to distress,” Kintigh said. “All kinds of bad behaviors come from trying to self-medicate.”
New Mexico Political Report caught up with both McCamley and Kintigh and asked them more about their positions on legalized marijuana.