Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hemp Is New Mexico’s Budget $olution For A Legislative $pecial $ession

A number of states, including South Carolina, finally are beginning to recognize hemp’s potential as a major cash crop. Earlier this month, the S.C. General Assembly quietly legalized the growth of industrial hemp.


New Mexico Lawmakers and the Governor’s Office prepare for more clashes over the state budget, proposed food/medicine tax, and potential tax reform in the now Fourth Special Session under Governor Martinez that gets underway today at the Roundhouse. Governor Martinez remains committed to comprehensive tax reform during the upcoming special session and in comments made to the to the Santa Fe New Mexican:
“The question is, do Democrat lawmakers have the courage to take on this serious issue,” he said. “Or will they try to take the easy way out and raise taxes, as they did earlier this year when they passed a $350 million hike that would have raised the price of gas and other expenses.”

I think the bigger question is, does the Governor have the courage to stand up for all New Mexicans, stand up for States Rights and pass Industrial Hemp Legislation...“Or will they try to take the easy way out and raise taxes”.

It’s time to let one of nature’s perfect plants flourish again. Hemp will greatly cut the American dependence on foreign oil. Hemp can help the US return to natural, plant-based remedies for illnesses and diseases.  Hemp can help replace petroleum based plastics, thus making us less dependent on chemicals that are harming the environment and people's health.

At least 30 states passed legislation related to industrial hemp. Generally, states have taken three approaches: (1) establish industrial hemp research and/or pilot programs, (2) authorize studies of the industrial hemp industry, or (3) establish commercial industrial hemp programs. At least 16 states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes and 20 states have passed laws allowing research and pilot programs. Seven states—Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Virginia—have approved the creation of both pilot/research and commercial programs.


New Mexico’s economy continues to be one of the slowest growing economies in the country.  The state budget shortfalls for 2016 totals over $600 million, and this slow economic growth by the state reveals too much dependence on the federal government and oil revenues. The special session called for the state legislature in October,  only resulted in more cuts to the state budget and party politics taking away from the purpose of the special session and once more we are in another special session.

Those sources of New Mexico's economic malaise provide funding for Education, Veterans Programs,  Police/ Firefighter Funding, and Health and Human Services programs like Medicaid.  New Mexico is also a state where half of all New Mexicans are on medicaid or medicare.

New Mexico, for the second year in a row, is ranked as the worst-run state in the country with some of the worst social and economic outcomes. In just six years, New Mexico went from 37th spot to the 50th-the worst run state. New Mexico also has a “citizen legislature”, that is more properly termed a “volunteer legislature”,  because these legislators are unpaid they all must have outside jobs, businesses or sources of income.

Only a handful of states struggle with similar levels of extreme poverty as New Mexico. More than one in every 10 households in the state earns less than $10,000 each year, the second highest proportion after Mississippi. The state also struggles with one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates. Close to 600 violent crimes are reported each year per 100,000 state residents, one of the highest rates nationwide.

Of the three most crucial budget demands upon the state of New Mexico: Public Schools, Medicaid, and Higher Education. Combined they are the true economic and social multiplier with the greatest opportunity of success for the state’s residents and the state’s economy.

The state has the renewable resources to potentially provide 1,000 times more clean energy than the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s current demand, according to the state Energy Conservation and Management Division.  

The state of New Mexico should legalize hemp to first and foremost start paying the state legislators. Establishing and creating a Hemp industry in the state of New Mexico could generate more money for the state compared to the legalization of cannabis for adult use.  Allowing for a hybrid state legislature: Meeting for most of the year and pays the legislators as full-time employees. They can serve the constituents much better because of their extended time in office and ability to devote more time to each issue. New Mexico is the only state with a unsalaried legislature. Some lawmakers such as Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas say a salary would increase the pool of talent to fill the seats.  Maestas says few people can afford to serve in a citizen Legislature.  Political Action Committee’s growth and influence in New Mexico politics has more than doubled in the last 10 years.  All the larger municipalities and counties in New Mexico provide salaries for city councilors and county commissioners.


States have a paid rather than volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, health-care workers, and teachers, to name a few. The reason is that we rightly expect increased reliability, productivity, and professionalism when we pay for services as opposed to them being provided voluntarily.

Providing funding for a paid legislature and state budget reform can be achieved with hemp legalization; in conjunction with the utilization of solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil medicine, wax, resin/plastics, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. This will create jobs, has vast potential for the state universities to benefit, and creates a new business market to keep college graduates in New Mexico.

Hemp legalization for New Mexico in conjunction with the utilization of solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources would be a giant leap forward in breaking it’s dependence on the federal government and oil revenues. This will create jobs, has vast potential for the state universities to benefit, and creates a new business market to keep college graduates in New Mexico.  In spite of the absence of rules or regulations, some existing academic institutions, including New Mexico State University, Santa Fe Community College and the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management, have expressed interest in studies ranging from seed research, food and nutraceuticals, to pharmaceutical grade CBD—a compound found in hemp—for potential epilepsy and cancer medicines.

Legalization of industrial hemp in New Mexico would also help facilitate a Navajo Tribe resolution to grow industrial hemp. According to a report published in Forbes, the Navajo will work with CannaNative to develop industrial hemp farming. The organization assists tribes in developing hemp and cannabis-based economies on Native American lands throughout the United States. Tribal lands cover parts of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. The farm where they plan to begin industrial hemp production is in New Mexico.
Such a move would be entirely legal; as a sovereign nation, the Navajo Nation would not need the
approval of the New Mexico state legislature or the Governor to move into industrial hemp cultivation and the light manufacture of derivative products as an economic opportunity. The same opportunity applies to any pueblo in New Mexico that might want to explore it.
They can proceed with or without state legalization, but eliminating a layer of state laws would certainly make the path toward developing a hemp economy smoother. In April 2015, New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez vetoed a bill legalizing hemp production within the state. She cited contradictions between state and federal law. States that are much more conservative in their state politics compared to New Mexico, like South Carolina, have legalized hemp.
In fairness, it’s worth pointing out that the system in New Mexico of 60 days for a legislative session in 2017, and 30 days for a budgetary session (which take place in alternating years) does not at all provide sufficient time for the state’s unpaid legislative body to address the business of the state or social issues effectively for the constituents they serve.  As Thomas Jefferson or maybe Henry David Thoreau observed long ago, “A government that governs least, governs best.” In New Mexico, we qualify halfway; our government does govern least, but it certainly doesn’t govern best and now they have a path to do so with Hemp!

Seven Facts Why New Mexico Should Legalize Hemp



  1. Hemp Defined. Noun (noun: hemp; noun: Indian hemp; plural noun: Indian hemps)
    The cannabis plant, especially when grown for its fiber, the fiber of the cannabis plant, extracted from the stem and It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. Although cannabis as a medical drug and industrial hemp are both members of the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has extremely low concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which eliminates its psychoactive effects. Hemp nutritional properties are;  Protein: 31.56 g (per 100 g), Energy: 585.8 Calories (per 100 g), Iron: 7.95 mg (per 100 g), Magnesium: 700 mg (per 100 g), Potassium: 1.2 g (per 100 g), & Calcium: 70 mg (per 100 g) ~ All Good For The Human Body!
  2. Bullet Proof With Hemp. Legalizing Hemp In New Mexico Will Save The Lives Of Police.
    Hemp fiber is stronger than kevlar fiber. Compared to the system of creating Kevlar or forging metal, growing hemp is an all-natural process requiring only soil, sun, water and time. Hemp is better for the environment because of this, but also because the material created out of hemp is still biodegradable, as opposed to plastic. The final material is also lighter than Kevlar or steel, which is good news for soldiers who have to wear nearly 31 pounds of body armor to protect themselves. Many decades later, military scientists are looking for newer and lighter body armors for the modern soldier. While Kevlar has been the mainstay for nearly a generation, the search remains for something even stronger to protect wearers from harm. Hemp plastic might just be it. It is already understood in the automobile industry that parts created out of hemp are ten times stronger than steel, and many cars use them already. Why not apply the same technological theory to body armor?
    Bulletproof Hemp2A company in Amsterdam called Hemp Works already offers a hefty bulletproof jacket called the Hemp Hoodlamb that is rated at a respectable level II-A, which the manufacturers claim has been tested with .22, 9mm and .357 magnum bullets. This could be done in New Mexico and be a new industry that creates: jobs, income for the state and saves lives!



  1. Hemp Is A Cash Crop.  Hemp legalization for New Mexico in conjunction with the utilization of solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources would be a giant leap forward in breaking it’s dependence on the federal government and oil revenues. This will create jobs, has vast potential for the state universities to benefit, and creates a new business market to keep college graduates in New Mexico.  In spite of the absence of rules or regulations, some existing academic institutions, including New Mexico State University, Santa Fe Community College and the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management, have expressed interest in studies ranging from seed research, food and nutraceuticals, to pharmaceutical grade CBD—a compound found in hemp—for potential epilepsy and cancer medicines. Recent economic reports suggest that the U.S. market for hemp is at a minimum $600 million per year. Industry observers count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. is currently the world’s number-one importer of hemp fiber for various products, with China and Canada acting as the top two exporters in the world. Canada has had industrial hemp since 1998, and farmers there have reported net profits of $200 to $250 per acre. Most Canadian hemp is exported to the United States.

  1. The “Hemp Amendment”. Early in 2014, President Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The “hemp amendment”: …allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oil-seed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law. In short, current federal law authorizes the farming of hemp – by research institutions only, for research only. These states also authorizes commercial farming and production.



  1. Hemp Cleans Air, Eats Radiation, And Cleans Toxic Metals From Soil. New Mexico sues EPA, mine owners over massive gold mine waste spill. ... The Gold King Mine rupture, which was “accidentally” triggered by an EPA inspection team called there to inspect seepage, unleashed a torrent of yellow sludge that contained high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead -3 million gallons of heavy metal sludge from the shuttered Gold King Mine gushed into a tributary of the Animas River, the Navajo Nation is suing the Environmental Protection Agency for what it sees as negligence in cleaning up the disaster. Many Navajo and New Mexicans are worried about potential long-term health effects from the heavy metals that have settled into the river sediment upstream from the Navajo Nation. Snowmelt and heavy rains can dredge up that sediment and send it coursing downstream once again.In other words, not only does hemp provide humans with innumerable products, it also helps to clean the environment of the mistakes we have made in the past. It has already been discovered that hemp may be extremely useful in the removal of cadmium from the soil and other toxic metals, as well as radiation. As cannabis journalist and researcher Seshata notes in her article “Hemp and the Decontamination of Radioactive Soil” – a number of studies that demonstrate hemp’s durability in the face of pollutants as well as its ability to remove metals from the soil. The concentration of this type of soil pollution has increased greatly in many locations across the world since the start of the industrial revolution, Claire Moore, plant biologist and laboratory manager at Michigan-based cannabis testing facility Iron Labs, told Extract in an email.
    “Phytoremediation describes the treatment of environmental problems, often contamination with heavy metals, through the use of plants that help mitigate the contamination without the need to excavate the offending contaminant(s) and dispose of it elsewhere,” she explains.
    It’s a relatively new technology that’s gaining international attention due to its cost-effective, non-intrusive method of “exploiting the ability of certain species of plants to remediate pollutants from contaminated sites,” Moore said.Researchers at Nova Institute, an ecology R&D group based in Germany, found that hemp has a “favorable influence on the soil structure” because it curtails the presence of nematodes and fungi, and it has a high shading capacity that suppresses weed growth. In one study cited by the researchers, a hemp rotation was found to increase wheat yields by 10 to 20 percent. Hemp can also grow in the most inhospitable and otherwise useless soils, such as those polluted by heavy metals. Grown alone, used in rotation or planted on abandoned farmland, hemp is an environmental win.
  2. Legalization of hemp in New Mexico would also help facilitate a Navajo Tribe resolution to grow industrial hemp. According to a report published in Forbes, the Navajo will work with CannaNative to develop industrial hemp farming. The organization assists tribes in developing hemp and cannabis-based economies on Native American lands throughout the United States. Tribal lands cover parts of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. The farm where they plan to begin industrial hemp production is in New Mexico. Such a move would be entirely legal; as a sovereign nation, the Navajo Nation would not need the approval of the New Mexico state legislature or the Governor to move into industrial hemp cultivation and the light manufacture of derivative products as an economic opportunity. The same opportunity applies to any pueblo in New Mexico that might want to explore it. They can proceed with or without state legalization, but eliminating a layer of state laws would certainly make the path toward developing a hemp economy smoother. In April 2015 , Governor Martinez vetoed a bill legalizing hemp production within the state. She cited contradictions between state and federal law, despite the fact of the “Hemp Amendment” (mentioned above #4). Early in 2014, President Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing states to begin limited research programs growing hemp.. With most state legislatures having taken action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity in recent years, it’s time for New Mexico to join those ranks.
  1. Forest Cover and Biodiversity. Although more than 95 percent of paper is made from wood pulp, hemp can play the same role. It can be recycled twice as many times as wood pulp, it can produce three to four times as much fiber per hectare as typical forests and even twice as much as a pine plantation. These abilities discussed by Dr. Ernest Small, Principal Research Scientist at the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada, suggests that more reliance on industrial hemp could reduce dependence on old growth forests, which host the world’s greatest concentrations of biodiversity and absorb carbon dioxide. Forests can’t keep up with the pace of deforestation, but hemp could keep up with our appetite for paper products. Popular Mechanics dubbed hemp “the new billion dollar crop” in 1938, claiming that it “can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to cellophane.” And when World War II demanded the full industrial might of the U.S., hemp restrictions were temporarily lifted and production reached its peak in 1943 when American farmers grew 150 million pounds of hemp. It was manufactured into shoes, ropes, fire hoses and even parachute webbing for soldiers fighting the war.

In February 1938, Popular Mechanics magazine featured an article called "New Billion-Dollar Crop" that proclaimed, American farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars.  Unfortunately, the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, which had passed by the time the Popular Mechanics article appeared, saw to it that that wouldn't happen. This much we do know- Industrial hemp makes too much sense for New Mexico to ignore the opportunity. It does appear to be a unique fit for the state’s attributes and an immediate solution for at least some of the state’s economic needs.


Contact the Governor

“Dear New Mexicans and Visitors,
I am committed to listening to your concerns and working to answer your questions.  Therefore, the Constituent Services division within my office has been directed to professionally and efficiently assist in answering your questions and responding to your requests of state government.
My staff is here to serve you and will do everything they can to address your concerns.
Please do not hesitate to call my office at 505-476-2200 to speak with a Constituent Services representative or fill out the form below and we will contact you in a timely manner.
Sincerely,

Governor Susana Martinez”

Call and email your Senator and call the Roundhouse for your voice to be heard.
Senate Chamber main phone 505-986-4714 and general email: senate@nmlegis.gov

House of Representatives main phone number 505-986-4751 and general email: house@nmlegis.gov


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