A New Mexico House of Representatives committee on Monday approved one proposal to legalize recreational-use cannabis and tabled another.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted mostly along party lines to pass HB 12 on to its next committee. Rep. Phelps Anderson of Roswell voted, along with Republican committee members, against HB 12. He recently changed his political affiliation from Republican to independent.
Both HB 12, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Javier Martínez of Albuquerque and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe, and HB 17, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Tara Lujan of Santa Fe and Roger Montoya of Velarde, had largely similar aims. But Martínez and Romero’s bill would allow for home cultivation, unlimited plant counts for producers and no limits on how much cannabis a person can possess in their home.
The committee also voted 7-4 to table HB 17, essentially stalling the bill indefinitely.
Committee Chair Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, who is also a sponsor of HB 12, praised the efforts of all of the sponsors, but said that she wanted to streamline the effort to legalize cannabis.
“I do think it was a responsibility of this committee to try and narrow this down and not do the same thing all over again in the next committee,” Armstrong said.
Rep. Gail Armstrong, R-Magdalena, who voted against HB 12 and also voted against tabling HB 17, said she disagreed with the notion of paring down cannabis legalization proposals and that lawmakers should be able to consider all legislation.
“I will say there is no reason to streamline because this is what we’re supposed to do,” Gail Armstrong said.