New Mexico recreational pot legalization passes 1st test

New Mexico

FILE – This April 6, 2018, file photo shows the leaves of a marijuana plant inside Ultra Health’s cultivation greenhouse in Bernalillo, N.M. New Mexico would legalize recreational marijuana sales without exceptions for dissenting cities and counties under a rebooted proposal form legislators that emphasizes small business opportunities and ready access to pot for 80,000 current medical cannabis patients. Legalization for the first time enjoys the full throttled support of second-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who set up a volunteer commission last year to vet health and public safety concerns about recreational cannabis and on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, pitched the benefits of the pot economy to a gathering business leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A key committee has passed a Democrat-backed bill to legalize recreational marijuana businesses in all towns and counties across New Mexico.

The Senate Public Affairs Committee voted Tuesday 4-3 to move along the measure that would subsidize medical marijuana and automatically expunge many past pot convictions.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she supports such a proposal.

The initiative condemned as a threat to workplace and roadway safety by a coalition that includes the local Roman Catholic Church and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

Others like medical marijuana dispensaries and health care advocates came out in support of the measure.

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