There is no greater issue involving potential cannabis legalization in New Mexico than the issue of a home-growing option.

It so important to the current political apparatus — mostly Democratic leadership — that they do not not want to discuss it. Because if the issue is discussed, then their opposition is exposed for what it is.

Excluding a home-growing option is about controlling the money pie legalization will generate and about who gets a slice of that pie. In the current cutting of the pie, only two groups will have a slice: the government and the producers/dispensaries.

The government will decide where the money goes, mainly to entities/institutions that will support the power structure. In a nutshell, cannabis profits will be used to buy votes as producers use them to buy politicians who will help them keep their monopoly and money.

Why is this issue so important to a legalization bill?

Because home growing gives New Mexicans their own slice of the cannabis pie.

It is important for voters of all parties as well as independents to understand how this will affect them in the unfolding of cannabis legalization. All groups have much at stake.

Without being able to grow their own cannabis, consumers will have only one option: to buy from producers at whatever price they set and whatever quality they deem sufficient.

If there are shortages or poor quality — too bad, how sad.

If the revenue generated in the form of taxes is not spent in a manner consistent with consumers’ beliefs or worldview, guess what? Too bad. What about people who live in a rural area, with no access to a cannabis store and limited funds? Again, too bad.

People below the poverty level without a home-growing option will have no opportunity to participate in this program. Too bad and very, very sad.

And what about gardeners who love to grow for personal fulfillment? Also, too bad, so sad.

These issues cut across political lines. It’s about slicing the pie. It’s also about choice and being a participant in the governmental process.

A home-growing option gives individuals choice and power. The choice to buy or grow their own, a decision both powerful and fulfilling.

If consumers allow politicians to exclude citizens from their own slice of cannabis legalization, then make no mistake, they will become powerless. Even for those who have not consumed cannabis, allowing legislation without a home-growing option means fewer future choices. This issue profoundly affects everyone.

Share this information if you agree. Raise your voice in support of this issue. Contact your representative. The message is simple: No home-growing option, no cannabis legalization bill. Time is short.

Arthur Mayer lives in Sacramento, N.M.

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