On Monday, state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo) introduced a proposal, S.B. 13, to legalize marijuana for recreational use in adults.
He said, “The reason I decided to do it this time is I got frustrated with the fact that I think people want us to do this in pretty high numbers,” and he wanted to propose a bill that “would pass,” as Democrats’ previous attempts to legalize the drug have been met with large opposition on both sides of the aisle. His bill would tax the substance an extreme 21%, which may, in fact, promote the illegal sale of the drug on the street due to the unaffordable price with taxes.
Other members of the Legislature have also proposed marijuana legalization bills, including Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero), whose bill, S.B. 288, wants to legalize marijuana and leave private companies such as PurLife with the distribution. Pirtle proposes a 2% excise tax on top of local gross receipts tax on the drug. He received $2,500.00 from PurLife and $1,000 from another marijuana company, Natural RX, in his 2020 bid for re-election.
In an interview months before the 2018 election, which Gov. Lujan Grisham won, PurLife’s Darren White said “Our company got behind Michelle pretty early and we maxed out [its allowable contributions] quickly.” Now, the governor is trying to make it a top-priority to ram through her marijuana bill to fulfill her 2018 campaign promise made to both the voters and to marijuana dispensaries like PurLife. She failed to do so in 2019 and 2020, however, due to more moderate Democrats leaving the chamber due to the Governor running primary challenges against them in the 2020 election, she has a better shot at legalizing weed in the state.
Another legislator who is sponsoring a bill for legalized pot is Rep. Javier Martinez (D-Bernalillo), who said of his bill that “It makes for the perfect conditions if you will. I don’t think the opportunity has ever been better than it is now to pass a legalization bill.” He says New Mexico needs the bill to cover for gaps in the budget.
Martinez received $5,000 from Darren White’s PurLife for his 2020 re-election bid to the state House.
UPDATE: The New Mexico Legislature will meet on March 30 for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s special session to force through recreational marijuana since the Governor and her allies failed to pass it in the regular 60-day session.
Other members of the Legislature who received campaign donations from PurLife in the 2020 election cycle:
Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Santa Fe): $1,000
Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Valencia) $1,000
Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) $1,000
Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) $1,000
New Mexico Senate Democrats $5,000
Rep. Harry Garcia (D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan & Valencia) $1,000
Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea and Roosevelt) $1,000
Rep. Candie Sweetser (D-Grant, Hidalgo & Luna) $1,000
Sen. Craig Brandt (R-Sandoval) $2,500
Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Bernalillo) $2,500, Moe’s “Moe PAC” $5,500
Fmr. Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna & Sierra) $2,500
Brian Egolf Speaker Fund (D-Santa Fe) $2,500
Sen. Mark Moores (R-Bernalillo) $2,500
Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) $2,500
Fmr. Sen. Sander Rue (R-Bernalillo) $2,500
Fmr. Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Doña Ana) $2,500
Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Fmr. Sen. Candace Gould (R-Bernalillo & Sandoval) $2,500
Rep. Micaela Cadena (D-Doña Ana) $1,000
Sen. Nancy Rodriguez (D-Santa Fe) $2,500
Rep. Jason Harper (R-Sandoval) $1,000
Rep. Doreen Gallegos (D-Doña Ana) $1,000
Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Rep. Eliseo Alcon (D-Cibola & McKinley) $1,000
Sen. George Muñoz (D-Cibola, McKinley and San Juan) $2,500
Sen. Steve Neville (R-San Juan) $2,500
Other members who received campaign contributions from Nature RX:
Brian Egolf Speaker Fund (D-Santa Fe) $2,500
Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Bernalillo) $500
Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Bernalillo) $250
Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo) $1,000
Fmr. Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Doña Ana) $500
Sen. Pete Campos (D-Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel and Taos) $500
Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) $1,000
Marijuana Company Reynold Greenleaf & Associates, LLC
$5,000 to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Donations by “associate” members of the “New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce.”
Sen. Pete Campos (D-Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel and Taos): $5,000 from Affordable Solar on 12/16/2019