Legalized use of recreational cannabis is inching closer to El Paso and the rest of Texas. As New Mexico lawmakers consider the historic move, El Paso law enforcement share words of warning.
“The recreational use of marijuana is not legal in Texas, you cannot have it in your possession,” El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles told KTSM, “Even if you’re from one of those states where it is legalized.”
Before the New Mexico Senate votes on house bill 365, which legalizes the recreational use of cannabis, Texas law enforcement is keeping an eye for anyone who might take advantage of it. Sheriff Wiles reminding El Pasoans they can still face some serious consequences if caught with marijuana, even if they have a clean record.
“That’s totally the officers discretion. You could technically get arrested and be put in jail. Then you could go to court and it could take up to 6 months,” Wiles explained, “People need to be careful with that because you’d hate to get caught up in that for no reason.”
Locals shared with KTSM about their thoughts on the current stance Texas has on legalizing marijuana, “Texas is still heavily republican. I hope people don’t think that since New Mexico did it and other states are doing it, that we’re going to all of a sudden do it. Texas will, in my opinion, be one of the last ones to legalize it no matter what.”
However, they do believe Texas should take a look at other states and see what legalizing did for them and for the future of marijuana, “We already have Colorado, California, and Washington I believe. So it’s just another state that can help further studies of what exactly happens when its legal.”
The New Mexico Senate has until March 16, Saturday, to pass the bill. If it passes, it will go into effect by July 1 of next year.