New Mexico State Senator mulling marijuana amendment

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January 28, 2013

New Mexico

By Joel Williams

Santa Fe, New Mexico: New Mexico Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, is considering introducing an amendment to the state constitution that would legalize marijuana in a manner similar to Colorado and Washington in 2012. A bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use, introduced by the New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance, failed to receive the approval of the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee.[1]

Ortiz y Pino believes that introducing a constitutional amendment may be the best way to legalize the drug in New Mexico. If such an amendment passed in both chambers of the legislature, it would be put on the ballot for the next general election as a referendum. Thus, voters in New Mexico may well be voting to legalize marijuana as early as 2014. Unfortunately for Ortiz y Pino, New Mexico does not have a strong history of using public referendums to enact new laws.[2]

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