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Las Cruces mayor, police worry about marijuana legalization in New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — The Las Cruces City Council spent several hours on Monday talking through a work session and presentation on the possibility of marijuana legalization in New Mexico.

The discussion was prompted by Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s announced plans to push cannabis legalization during the upcoming legislative session.

At the center of all the conversation was Pat Davis.

Davis is a pro-marijuana proponent and visiting city councilman from Albuquerque.

Davis presented a recent state poll that suggested over 70% of New Mexicans are in favor of legalization.

According to Davis, legalization would bring 11,000 new jobs created in first year alone.

"We want to be sure that everyone can get in the door," Davis said. "The cost grows as the business grows.”

He added that in his opinion, legalization would lighten the load on the state’s justice system.

“We recommend making pot and low level drug possession offenses automatic expungements from residents records," he told the council members.

But not everyone was on board.

The Mayor of Las Cruces said he was worried by reports he’s heard from community leaders in other states where pot legalization had already been passed.

“The parents of the children are dropping off their kids high," said Ken Miyagishima. “Pregnant teens are using it for nausea and it is hurting the babies.”

Las Cruces Deputy Police Chief Paul Brock also spoke, concerned with how legalization could raise department spending and adding data points that suggested a rise in heroin use could follow along with cannabis legalization.

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Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is a former ABC-7 reporter who co-anchored Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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