Recreational cannabis sales kick off with celebrations
Today, connoisseurs of cannabis and perhaps a few first-timers celebrated the first legal sales of recreational pot to over-21s in New Mexico.
In Albuquerque, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has long championed legalization, visited the Everest Cannabis Company dispensary.
"New Mexicans have access to recreational adult use cannabis in exactly the way they want," she said. "And it's a huge economic opportunity to the state. I'm feeling terrific."
Advocates hope the industry will generate tens of millions in tax revenue for the state and create thousands of jobs.
At the Fruit of the Earth dispensary in Santa Fe, one buyer, who didn't give his name because he's a teacher who prefers to keep some things private, said he'd been arrested for having small amounts of cannabis and was happy to think no one else would have to go through that.
"It's just ridiculous what the law has done to individuals over the past several decades around this," he said. "This substance, you know, that helps so many people."
New Mexico is the 18th state to legalize recreational cannabis.
People can now buy up to two ounces of cannabis, though they still can't smoke it in public, and police have urged people to consume responsibly, and particularly to avoid driving.