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Legalizing Weed: 5 Quotes From Lawmakers After Medical Marijuana Became Legal in Mexico

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 02:45 PM

New Mexico joined ranks with 22 other states when it legalized medical marijuana in 2007. The new law allowed for possession of marijuana by patients “in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

Patients are allowed to possess up to six ounces of weed, 12 seedlings and four usable plants, according to the Medical Marijuana Blog.

New Mexico’s program is the only program in the U.S. that places sole responsibility for regulation on the state’s Department of Health. Doctors must comply with state requirements for patients to be considered in legal possession of weed.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

Here's a look at what lawmakers have to say on the subject:

1. "If you look at prohibition, it's basically a failure both in terms of alcohol in the 1920s and the drug war now," said State Rep. Bill McCamley, a Democrat from southern New Mexico, according to the Toke of the Town.

"We're spending all of this money enforcing marijuana laws and prosecuting people for smoking marijuana. That can be used in other law enforcement efforts like prosecuting rapists and murderers – and that's important."

2. Efforts to legalize marijuana entirely will be met with opposition from New Mexico’s governor, reports the Albuquerque Journal.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican and former prosecutor, said, “In New Mexico, as long as I’m governor, I’m not signing that bill.” Martinez is up for re-election in 2015.

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?

3. “Spending $5 million a year to arrest people with small amounts of marijuana is a waste of resources,” Kane said during a three-hour debate on a bill to reduce marijuana penalties, according to the The Daily Chronic.

“We could put that money to better use. Reducing penalties for adults to possess small amounts of marijuana just makes sense.”

4. One lawmaker referred to the state’s current marijuana laws as "institutional state stupidity,” during a debate to reduce penalties for possession, reports The Daily Chronic.

“Why on God’s green Earth would we want to spend money throwing college kids in jail for having a few joints when we could be spending that money on early childhood education?” asked Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.

5. The state Legislature continues to debate over legalizing marijuana altogether, The Daily Chronic said.

“The perception of risk is a problem. Because as we lower penalties or decriminalize, or however you want to word it, we now imply that it is a safe drug,” said Rep. William Rehm, R-Albuquerque.

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New Mexico joined ranks with 22 other states when it legalized medical marijuana in 2007. The new law allowed for possession of marijuana by patients "in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments."
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 02:45 PM
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