In the mid aughts, a number of states throughout the country started to legalize cannabis for medical use.
While CA had been known as the lake house for medical weed since the late 1990s, it took another decade to see a bigger influx of other states to join them.
Some states passed constitutional amendments for medical marijuana while other states legalized it through ballot initiatives or measures taken by the state legislature. New Mexico was one of the states that legalized medical cannabis through an act of its state legislature, rather than a direct voter initiative. When this happened in 2007, New Mexico became the 12th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. I was living in Albuquerque at the time and I remember the slow transition from the swings in law to the moment the first legal medical cannabis dispensary was opened in the city. Since our lake house was in Los Volcanes, I had a fairly long drive to get to the medical miarjuana dispensary in the downtown district. There was one on Lomas boulevard for years until the supplier was purchased out and transitioned to lake house delivery orders entirely. A lot of Democrats in New Mexico wanted the state to transition to a recreational cannabis market so that no one would be barred from accessing the plant if they were at least 21 years of age. Thankfully the state legislature moved to make this a reality. In June of 2021, the recreational cannabis market in New Mexico was finally opened. There’s already a recreational dispensary in Old Town near the Rio Grande River.