Melissa Ontiveros responds to killed cannabis legislation
Las Cruces, NM, February 2020
For immediate release
Melissa Ontiveros, Democratic Nominee Candidate for New Mexico Senate District 31 has issued the following statement regarding SB115 being killed in the Judiciary Committee during the 2020 Legislative Session:
“Unfortunately Senator Joseph Cervantes has sided with his Republican colleagues and not supported this bill, in spite of the bill having the support of Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham and advocates. Cannabis prohibition is tainted with racial and economic disparities; in addition to a black market too large to successfully repress. The choice we now face is not whether to make cannabis available, but whether its production and use should be legal and overt or illegal and disassembled.
If we want to grow NM’s economy, we cannot keep postponing the recreational marijuana bill. We have resources and the evidence we need to move forward with a bill that will diversify economic growth, create jobs for all people (including those who are systematically excluded by equal access to jobs and economic opportunity), and reduce astronomical law enforcement costs.
Potential sales tax benefits for legalizing marijuana would not only put New Mexico in the forerun for economic development and job creation but could help pay for costly education reforms, re-establishing our behavioral health system, and provide resources to prevention and rehabilitation in tobacco, drugs and alcohol programs.
Why stall when we can start making marijuana use safer through required testing, labeling, and regulations that safeguard users and distributors?”