New Mexico

Doña Ana County Sheriff participates in 1st marijuana legalization task force meeting

Decriminalizing marijuana

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - How close is New Mexico to legalizing marijuana? 

There's no definitive answer, but Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart brought the perspective of New Mexico law enforcement at the governor's 'Cannabis Legalization Working Group' on Wednesday.

"It's not whether I support it or not, it's about having a place at the table," Sheriff Stewart told ABC-7 last week.

New Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana this month, but Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to do more.

"It is a step in the right direction," Lujan Grisham told ABC-7 last month. "We don't want young people in our jails and in our corrections systems."

State Representative Gregg Schmedes (R - Bernalillo County) strongly opposes marijuana legalization.

"No one can dispute the fact that if you have regular exposure to THC before age 20, you have an exponential increase in developing cognitive dysfunction as well as mental health issues later in life," Schmedes told ABC-7 over the phone.

According to the New York Times, that is a hotly debated perspective among scientists who study marijuana.

Schmedes also worries about adolescents getting weed from those who buy it legally.

"I just think that's foolish," he said. "That's dangerous."

But with a liberal governor and democrats controlling the state house and senate, New Mexico could follow its northern neighbor - Colorado - in legalizing it.

"We need to be part of the conversation," Sheriff Stewart said. "We need to have a voice."

Upcoming Meetings

  • Wednesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. -- Anthony Water District -- 1155 N. 4th St., Anthony
  • Thursday, August 1 at 12:30 p.m. -- Delores Wright CRC -- 400 E. Lisa Drive
  • Monday, August 5 at 1:30 p.m. -- Hatch Community Center -- 837 Highway 187
  • Tuesday, August 6 at 11:30 a.m. -- Radium Springs CRC -- 12060 Lindbeck Road
  • Wednesday, August 7 at 10 a.m. -- Sugies Diner -- 340 N. Main St., Las Cruces
  • Monday, August 12 at 9 a.m. -- Butterfield CRC -- 9350 Berry Patch Lane
  • Thursday, August 15 at 6:15 p.m. -- La Mesa Community Center -- 744 San Jose, La Mesa
  • Tuesday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m. -- Our Lord of Mercy Church -- 117 Hartman St., Hatch
  • Monday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m. -- Betty McKnight Community Center -- 190 S. County Line Dr., Chaparral
  • Thursday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m. -- Doña Ana County Government Building (BOCC Chambers) -- 845 N. Motel Blvd.

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