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Marijuana legislation stalls in New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants marijuana legalization back on the agenda for the next legislative session.

Lujan Grisham said Saturday that next year’s limited 30-day legislative session will include marijuana reform proposals. This year’s session ended Saturday at noon.

John Arthur Smith, New Mexico Senator, told ABC-7 the sponsers for marijuana sales at state operated stores came and didn’t want to have a hearing on it because there weren’t enough votes in the committee.

“At the request of the sponsers, when they dont want it heard, we don’t hear them,” said Smith

The first-term Democrat complimented sponsors of a failed bipartisan bill this year that would have legalized marijuana sales at state-operated stores and subsidized medical cannabis for poor patients. The House-approved bill stalled without a Senate vote.

“It’s sort of a generaltional issue. The younger people, for the most part, are advocates for it and the older ones (members of the legislature) have been in opposition for it. There are a few exceptions,” Smith told ABC-7.

Smith said the bill made it’s way to finance becasue of the conversation of generated revenue, but when he spoke to Coloroado comittiees who said, “The finincial gain has not been there because the cost of enforcement has increased. So, there is not a windfall of money to the State if youre just pursuing it on the bases of finances.”

Lujan Grisham says legalization is possible with sufficient precautions to prevent child use and impaired driving.

In New Mexico, the governor decides what major policy issues are heard during abbreviated legislative sessions in even-numbered years.

Minimum wage legislation passes

House and Senate lawmakers reached a compromise Thursday that would raise New Mexico’s minimum hourly wage gradually from $7.50 to $12 at the start of 2023.

A conference committee of three lawmakers from each chamber brokered the agreement Thursday to break a legislative stalemate.

The compromise proposal moves to the House and Senate for votes. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned on efforts to reach a $12 minimum wage, and House Democrats led by Rep. Miguel Garcia of Albuquerque also sought additional automatic future increases to offset inflation.

The compromise agreement would not tie future increases to an inflation index. The minimum hourly wage would rise to $9 in 2020, $10.50 in 2021, and $11.50 in 2022 before settling at $12 in 2023. Tipped worker minimum salaries would gradually rise to $3 an hour, and a student minimum wage of $8.50 would take effect in 2020 without adjustments.

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