December 26, 2019

2019 Top Stories #4: Efforts to legalize recreational cannabis

Photo Credit: ChelseyHerba Flickr via Compfight cc

A major topic this year was cannabis legalization. Two different bills to legalize recreational cannabis this year failed to make it to the governor’s desk. But after the legislative session ended, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she would consider legalization during the 2020 session. She also convened a working group to come up with a proposal for legalization that addressed Lujan Grisham’s public safety concerns. 

That group, headed by Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, almost immediately faced criticism for not better representing medical cannabis patients. But Davis said he would be inclusive and transparent

The group included members from law enforcement, state departments and cannabis producers. Davis said the group not only needed to come up with a proposal the governor would sign, but also come up with language that might serve as a compromise to lawmakers who have historically opposed legalization.  

But some of the final proposal’s critics came from the medical cannabis community. Some said the proposal was just a redo of one of the failed bills from earlier this year, although others said they were happy with it. 

The real test will be during next year’s legislative session when lawmakers vote on it.

See all of this year’s top stories here.