New Mexico to become first to offer state-backed marijuana dispensaries

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The state is considering a bill that would allow it to operate marijuana stores

While most states have preferred to create a public-guided marijuana dispensary program, New Mexico could go a different route. Lawmakers in the state are discussing a bill that would allow the government to operate marijuana shops, as well as to subsidize medical marijuana for the poor. The bill already has support from both sides of the political divide and most likely won’t find much resistance.

Three GOP state senators introduced the bill, breaking from Republican Party dogma in the process. The idea was presented to Democrats, who included it in their own legislation that also covers issues such as social justice, medical marijuana subsidies for the underprivileged and more, and the bill took off from there.

The idea has merit – the state would reap all of the rewards from the program and receive a larger share than what has been seen in states such as Oregon and California. Tax money from recreational marijuana sales would go to fund employment and to create counseling programs in communities that are “disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies.”

There is still a lot of resistance to the bill, mostly by those who have not bothered to learn the truth about medical marijuana. However, Senator Peter Wirth, the Senate Democratic majority leader, is confident that legalization would be achieved in a House vote and asserts that government-run dispensaries are a novel concept with a lot of strength. He believes that the idea could allay fear and anxiety regarding New Mexico’s decision to get deeper into the marijuana industry.

The concept is similar to one already in place around the country. In almost every state, the government controls the alcohol industry, so it’s not a leap to see the same for the marijuana industry.


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