New Mexico: Court Strikes Down Governor’s Veto Of Hemp Production Act

Santa Fe, NM: Justices on the state Supreme Court have upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s vetoes of a pair of hemp production bills. The ruling allows the laws to take immediate effect.

In 2017, Gov. Martinez vetoed House Bill 144 and Senate Bill 6 without explanation. The measures permit the Department of Agriculture to license the cultivation of industrial hemp for research and development purposes in compliance with federal provisions (Section 7606) of the 2014 Farm Act. Over 35 states have enacted similar laws.

Members of the Court determined that the Governor acted unconstitutionally by failing to provide any written explanation for her vetoes. Absent such an explanation, lawmakers lacked the ability to revise the legislation in a manner that would ultimately gain the Governor’s approval.

Governor Martinez has long been an outspoken opponent of marijuana law reform. She is one of only four US governors to receive an ‘F’ grade from NORML in its 2018 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.