2021 Legislative Session
Cannabis legalization runs out of time, governor will call for a special session
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham confirmed on Saturday that she plans to call a special legislative session aimed at fully legalizing cannabis and said it will begin “on or about” March 31.
In a post-legislative session press conference, Lujan Grisham said the work lawmakers did to try and come up with an agreeable cannabis legalization proposal can serve as a good starting point during the special session.
“If you look at all of the brokering of efforts to bring two sides of the issue together, and it happened over and over again, we have an incredible framework ready to go for adult use cannabis,” Lujan Grisham said.
The governor’s announcement comes on the heels of a 60-day session that failed to send a cannabis legalization bill to Lujan Grisham’s desk. But the outlook for cannabis legalization during the last few days of the session was a stark contrast from the optimism just weeks earlier. About a week before lawmakers were set to adjourn, legalization seemed like it was going to stall in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But HB 12, sponsored by Rep. Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, ultimately made its way out of that committee, albeit with less than 72 hours before the end of the session and a warning from Chairman Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces.
“There are a number of things in the bill that should be of great concern to you that, frankly, in many cases, are just contrary to law, existing law,” Cervantes said. “And I don’t think you want to do that.”
More specifically, Cervantes said the bill would unintentionally give parents the ability to give their children cannabis and that wording regarding personal possession limits was opposite of what the sponsors intended.