New Mexico has gone ahead and legalized cannabis in the state. As of midnight, on 1 April anyone over 21 is allowed to have up to two ounces of marijuana in their possession. Comparable amounts of concentrated cannabis or edible treats are also allowed. This also marks the first state bordering Texas to allow for full legalization.
Since 2007, NM has allowed medicinal cannabis with rather tight regulations. This whopping change has some growing pains ahead of it for law enforcement, tax officials, the commercial growing industry, and patients. Places like reservations and federal parks, both of which are located frequently across NM fall under federal law, and as such, they are still illegal there.
As a result of this change, vacant property in NM is being picked up left and right. Small towns are now beginning to boom with the promise of people receiving cannabis cultivation licenses and dispensary permits. These people are bringing a much-needed injection of capital to the state, with the promise of a massive boom in tourism to the incredibly diverse state.
For those looking to pick up marijuana and bring it back to Texas, they face some rather large problems. TX is one of the hard-liner states against cannabis, and they have some of the stiffest penalties in the nation for just having marijuana. Possession of concentrates specifically can bring two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. While other neighboring states are much more open to the use of Marijuana, TX has yet to open its ideals to such a change.
Meanwhile, the country is incredibly divided on the subject these days. Democrats and independents are in favor – 83% and 71%, respectively, in favor of legalization. Meanwhile, conservatives are split down the middle with 50% in favor and 49% against. Considering the total average support in 2001 was 34%, this is quite an increase for a relatively short amount of time.
This increase is in, large part, due to the exchange of information. Enough states had enough with the federal government’s refusal to hear the issue and legalized it for themselves. In turn, people have been able to do more scientific studies, although they are not federally backed and verified. These reports have helped influence people across the nation and given the number of veterans who are coming home and choosing cannabis, it makes sense for conservatives to pay attention. Brave men and women chose this route instead of pharmaceutical drugs they watched their buddies OD from while being fed them like candy on active duty.
As this becomes less and less of a liberal cause, the President is distancing himself even further from the conversation. He refuses to talk about legalization on the federal level, instead advocating more for the pharmaceuticals. This gives conservatives an opportunity to swoop in and push for these changes. With a vote coming up about this issue at the federal level, it could be wise for conservatives to climb on board and defy Biden and get this through.
More states are pushing for its legalization with grassroots efforts. Supporters from other states where cannabis has been legalized have been traveling across the US to try and obtain signatures for individual states’ efforts. As this change washes across the nation, many traditional conservatives are digging in their heels, but it has become a losing battle. With more looking at the taxation and profits windfalls this industry brings with it, there are far fewer reasons not to cross over. Given the rise in the cost of things like paper products, building materials, and medications that cannabis has been proven to be effective with, this can be the answer to Biden-induced inflation that we have been looking for.