For good reason, New York officially legalizing cannabis dominated the headlines as not only did the state’s legislative body pass a bill ending prohibition, but the governor’s signature has already dried. Cannabis is legal in the Empire State and, in what should be a policy that all states should follow, old convictions are automatically expunged. Not to be outdone, however, was New Mexico, whose legislature also passed a legalization bill. While Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham hasn’t signed the bill yet, she made it clear that she will, stating that she considers the bill a breakthrough for the Land of Enchantment:
“This is a significant victory for New Mexico. Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy. Entrepreneurs will benefit from the opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises. The state and local governments will benefit from the additional revenue. Consumers will benefit from the standardization and regulation that comes with a bona fide industry. And those who have been harmed by this country’s failed war on drugs, disproportionately communities of color, will benefit from our state’s smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions.
“There were more than a few significant breakthroughs in the 60-day session. This is yet another one. As New Mexicans know, I have advocated and pushed and negotiated for this measure, and I am immensely proud and humbled to have seen it through. But that feeling is dwarfed by the gratitude I feel for the well-informed advocates, to the community members from all across the state – urban and rural, from every region– who have been committed to lobbying for this, to the leaders in the Legislature who helped us cross this major threshold.”
American Hemp Farmer author Doug Fine, who detailed moving his family off the grid in New Mexico in Farewell, My Subaru, texted me ecstatically during the vote and he had this to say on Facebook afterwards:
“Our cannabis law includes all the key baseline elements for a cannabis legalization bill, including home cultivation (a human right), cannabis record expungement, and strong plant count for local micro-businesses.Home cultivation (with no registration or paperwork) isn’t just fragrant. It’s an imperative. It must be part of any cannabis/hemp rule. Also, farmers, a piece of advice passed to me by Wendell Berry: Own your seeds. This time the farmers are in charge.”
The leading anti-cannabis legalization organization touted its work in New York, New Mexico, and Connecticut in its 2020 annual report. Well, now that over a third of Americans live in a legalized state, it will be interesting to see which state will be the next domino to fall. By all accounts, Connecticut could very well be next as we legalize freedom state by state. As more states join the growing number that have swept Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history, we are only adding to the number of federal representatives that will support the SAFE Banking Act and finally ending the federal war on the cannabis community. There’s more work to be done, but it’s been a good week for our movement, and it’s always good for the soul to celebrate victories.
It’s a good, no great, time to stop into Kind Leaf, the premier craft cannabis boutique in Eastern Oregon. Venture into the beautiful store in beautiful Pendleton and enjoy current deals that include 30% off of selected flower, edibles, extracts, and pre-rolls. Senior citizens, military veterans, and OMMP patients qualify for discounts as well.