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April 25, 2014

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Marijuana legalization before NM Senate panel

Updated Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 | 9:36 a.m.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are preparing to debate whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The Senate Rules Committee is expected to consider a proposal Friday to allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana for those 21 years of age and older.

The question of legalizing marijuana would be decided by voters in the general election if lawmakers approve the proposed constitutional amendment.

However, the measure is likely to face difficulty in the Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez opposes marijuana legalization.

Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana. Pot stores opened in Colorado last month, and sales should start in Washington later this year.

If New Mexico voters end up approving the proposal, it would be left to legislators to decide how to regulate and tax marijuana.