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Senate panel OKs letting voters decide whether to legalize pot

A Senate committee on Thursday approved a measure to let New Mexico voters decide whether the state’s Constitution should be amended to legalize marijuana and regulate production, sale and taxation of the substance.

If voters approved the ballot issue, the possession and personal use of marijuana by those over age 21 would become legal in New Mexico.

The measure, Senate Joint Resolution 2, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, was approved 5-4 by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure likely has slim chances in the House. The House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee last week voted 7-1 to table a proposal to legalize and tax recreational marijuana.