The State Senate of New Mexico has approved a bill recently, which has proposed the removal of all criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana in small amounts. The new penalty will be simply a 50 dollar fine. The Senate successfully voted to remove the older system of penalties, which include jail time for low-level possessions. This bill coincides with other proposed bills in New Mexico that are all about introducing legalization for cannabis.
This bill proposes that people who are caught with half ounce or less of weed, should be given a fine, just like a traffic ticket, which does not require a criminal proceeding in a court of law. Nine lawmakers challenged the bill out of a total of 42 senate members. Eight of them are Republicans, while one is a Democrat. The bill has now moved to the House of Representatives for approval.
The Associated Press describes that Joseph Cervantes, a supporting senator, argues that these changes will essentially free up the state prosecutors, attorneys and courts to focus on the violent crimes, in a time when the state is facing a budget crunch.
The cannabis industry is already expanding in New Mexico, although most policy changes are quite young in the state. MJ Biz Daily has reported in a recent article that an American medical marijuana company has already created an international partnership with an Israeli firm in the same industry to start a joint MMJ (medical marijuana) business in New Mexico.
This has resulted in the creation of a manufacturing facility, near Albuquerque. Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel has teamed up with Ultra Health of New Mexico to run this facility. These companies issued a joint statement that their facility has started production. Their plan will produce 18 MMJ products that are ideally designed to cater to the needs of medical marijuana patients in the state as well as the country. These products will provide reliable doses of important chemicals present in weed. The product line is initiated in Israel, but cannabis is added at the New Mexico production facility.
Only time will tell if this important bill will be successfully passed through all the legal requirements, to be implemented in New Mexico at the earliest.