New Mexico Wellness Division Secretary Kathy Kunkel Desires Cannabis Income Targeted at Mental Wellness & Substance Abuse Applications


SANTA FE – Tax dollars generated by legalizing recreational cannabis use in New Mexico could be made use of to spend for law enforcement education, mental overall health applications, drug addiction remedy and far more, below suggestions getting crafted by a state activity force.

Deciding specifically how to divvy up income collected by the state would be up to the Legislature, and there’s no assure a marijuana legalization bill will in the end pass each the Residence and Senate for the duration of subsequent year’s 30-day session.

But some state officials are currently eyeing the possible legal pot windfall.

“I assume this is an chance to get some important sources,” Wellness Division Secretary Kathy Kunkel told a Wednesday meeting of the marijuana legalization operating group.

Particularly, she mentioned she’d like to see income targeted at mental overall health and substance abuse applications, simply because New Mexico has extended struggled with higher drug overdose fatality prices.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham designed the marijuana legalization activity force in June, soon after a legalization bill stalled in the Senate in the final days of this year’s 60-day legislative session.

The activity force also heard from numerous law enforcement officials on Wednesday, who mentioned far more funding will be necessary for officer education if New Mexico legalizes recreational cannabis.

Portales Police Chief Pat Gallegos mentioned law enforcement officials are operating with legalization proponents to make certain they have a say in any legislation that is authorized, even although they could not be completely on board with the concept.

“We’re opposed to legalizing marijuana, but we’re not going to go out and attempt to fight it,” he told members of the operating group.

In neighboring Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2014, the quantity of car fatalities in which the driver tested constructive for any cannabinoid – a chemical compound identified in marijuana items – far more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, according to a state report issued final year.

Even so, drunken driving instances decreased for the duration of that period, and Colorado youth use of marijuana declined in current years, the report mentioned.

In New Mexico, the cannabis legalization operating group on Wednesday endorsed the concept that law enforcement agencies be necessary to gather information on the race, gender and age of men and women arrested on marijuana-associated charges.

The activity force held numerous hearings about the state this summer time, and its Wednesday meeting at the state Capitol was its final scheduled gathering.

The group intends to present a final recommendation to Lujan Grisham subsequent month and, if the governor approves, could then present its strategy to legislative interim committees in November, mentioned Pat Davis, an Albuquerque city councilor and leader of the activity force.

Eleven states have legalized recreational cannabis. The most current to do so was Illinois, exactly where legalization is set to take impact in 2020 soon after winning approval this year.



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