Drug Policy Action Statement on New Mexico Poll Showing Overwhelming Support for Cannabis Legalization and Equity

Matt Sutton 212-613-8026, [email protected]

Santa Fe, NM – A new poll sponsored by Drug Policy Action found overwhelming support in New Mexico for cannabis legalization. The poll found that support is strengthened when key equity components are included, designed to undo some of the worst impacts of the failed drug war. In particular, independent voters showed overwhelming support for these policies. 

Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director of Resident States and New Mexico at Drug Policy Action, released the following statement:

“New Mexicans are ready for cannabis legalization, and they want to see equity built into the legislative proposal to help right the many wrongs caused by the failed war on drugs. This legislation must reinvest back into communities most harmed by drug prohibition, which has fallen hardest on Hispanic/Latino, Black and Native populations in New Mexico. Repairing the damage done by cannabis prohibition is not negotiable. It is time to stop criminalizing people for cannabis and instead realize the economic and social benefits of having cannabis possession and sales regulated in New Mexico.”

The poll was conducted by Change Research from September 22nd-24th, 2020 with 1,193 voters in New Mexico. The margin of error was 3%. 

Key findings include: 

  • 72% of all voters support legalizing cannabis to adults 21 and over, with provisions in place to ensure tax revenue is reinvested back into communities. Fully 94% of Democrats, 93% of Independents, and 46% of Republicans support this proposal.
  • 80% of all voters support requiring licensing fees to be scaled based on the size of the business to protect very small businesses, including 79% of Independent voters.
  • 67% of all voters support removing prior convictions for marijuana possession from people’s records for conduct that is now legal, including 82% of Independent voters.
  • 62% of all voters support allowing individuals with prior marijuana convictions to work in the new cannabis industry, including 77% of Independent voters.
  • 68% of all votes support prohibiting denial of public benefits or health care based on cannabis use or a positive cannabis drug test, including 75% of Independent voters.
  • 58% of all voters support prohibiting police from stopping and searching an individual or vehicle based on the smell of marijuana alone, including 65% of Independent voters.
  • 62% of all voters support providing financial assistance to low-income patients who use medical cannabis, including 58% of Independent voters.