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Recreational marijuana will be back in 2020 session

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A marijuana plant inside Ultra Health\’s cultivation greenhouse in Bernalillo, N.M. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

SANTA FE — Lawmakers can expect to take up a proposal next year to make New Mexico the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she will add the issue to the agenda of the 2020 legislative session.

It’s a 30-day session, so the governor has some power to set the agenda.

A bipartisan proposal to legalize recreational cannabis through state-run stores narrowly won House approval this year but stalled in the Senate. It was the first time a recreational marijuana bill passed a chamber of the state Legislature.

Lawmakers approved a separate proposal Saturday that would reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The state would impose a $50 fine on someone caught with up to a half an ounce of marijuana under Senate Bill 323, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces. It would be a civil citation, not a criminal conviction.

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