Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, needs to build legislative support in order for passage of his proposal to legalize Cannabis there. Sometimes, when trying to get something done, it’s best to ask someone who’s already done it. So Lamont called New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a fellow Democrat. Lamont asked how his New Mexico counterpart got an adult-use marijuana legalization bill through her state legislature this year.
“Putting that all in one new industry approach, I think, is problematic, and it’s one of the reasons we had to call this special session here,” the governor said in an appearance on Growing Forward. The podcast comes from the New Mexico Political Report and the state PBS affiliate.
Separating legalization from concerns about social justice and fairness, she added, “engages everyone where they are.”
Lujan Grisham revealed in a new podcast interview that her counterpart in the Northeast called for advice. What she offered perhaps ran counter to one current trend. She asked Lamont to consider decoupling legalization from related social justice proposals in order to make both bills easier to pass.
That chat must have gone well. Lujan Grisham shared that she thinks Lamont, who included legalization in his budget plan earlier this year, “is going to try exactly that strategy” after their talk.
New Mexico lawmakers earlier this month narrowly got a legalization measure across the finish line. To muster enough votes to pass the bill, Democratic leaders removed its original criminal justice proposals and packaged them in separate bills.
Both of those bills passed the legislature and have since become law. Lujan Grisham is now recommending a similar strategy to other states.