Published on: Monday, April 12, 2021

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Monday signed legislation to legalize the use and sale of recreational marijuana in the state, as well as to expunge the records of people with prior, low-level cannabis convictions (article available here). This makes New Mexico the seventh state since November to put an end to pot prohibition.

The approved legislation allows the state to forge agreements with Native American tribal governments that could open the marijuana industry to tribal enterprises.

The governor noted that the sentencing component of the law could impact up to tens of thousands of New Mexicans, and make possible the potential early release of low-level convicted cannabis offenders who are currently incarcerated. She also described the harm inflicted on racial and ethnic minorities by drug criminalization and tough policing, noting that the new law could expunge criminal records for thousands of people.