Sunday, August 13, 2017

Judge: Vetoed Hemp Bills by New Mexico Governor Should Be Law

A state district judge on Friday, August 11th 2017, sided with Democratic lawmakers who asked that certain vetoed legislation by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez during the last regular legislative session be invalidated, setting the stage for theses crucial proposals to become law.

Lawmakers had argued that issuing the vetoes without any explanation made it impossible to understand the governor's objections so that they could revise the bills for possible approval.

Martinez's lawyers had argued that the state Constitution doesn't require the governor to provide an explanation for every piece of vetoed legislation.

Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that the governor did not follow proper procedures when she nixed the 10 bills without providing an explanation. The judge directed the Secretary of State's Office to enter the bills in question into their respective chapters of state law.

The judge cited New Mexico's short and often chaotic legislative sessions, saying the constitutional language requiring a vetoed bill to be returned to lawmakers with objections must be strictly followed. She said the procedure makes for a mandate that must be followed.

Deputy Secretary of State John Blair, told NM Political Report that, “the ruling from the bench did not mean the bills will be chaptered yet. Instead, the office will wait for a written order, which Blair said is due in approximately three weeks.”

According to the Governor’s Office, Martinez's lawyers plan to ask for a stay to keep the bills from becoming law while they appeal the ruling. Saying in a statement, "We're disappointed in this decision because there is no question the governor vetoed these bills," said Joe Cueto, a spokesman for the governor. "It's telling how some in the Legislature love running to the courts when they know they don't have the support to override a veto."
Here are the ten bills in question that Judge Singleton overruled the vetoes on:
  • HB 126, Financial Assistance For Medical Students
  • HB 144, Industrial Hemp Research Rules
  • SB 6, Industrial Hemp Research Rules
  • SB 24, Local Gov’t Broadband Infrastructure
  • SB 64, Public School Capital Outlay Time Periods
  • SB 67, Notification Of TIDD To County Treasurers
  • SB 134, Computer Science For School Graduation
  • SB 184, Horse Racing Licenses, Health & Testing
  • SB 222, “Local Public Body” Exemption
  • SB 356, Notification Of Public Improvement Districts
Industrial Hemp Research Rules Legislation To Become Law
Hemp Farming Was Once Shown On US Currency
Two of the bills in question outlined the process by which the state could start research of industrial hemp at New Mexico State University.
Senate Bill 6 adds a new section to a statute relating to New Mexico Department of Agriculture requiring the department to issue licenses to grow industrial hemp for research and development purposes – including agricultural, agronomic, ecological, processing, sales, and marketing research – pursuant to rules to be promulgated by NMDA. The bill requires an institution of higher education, person, or business that plans to grow industrial hemp seed or industrial hemp fiber to obtain a grower’s license by submitting an application to NMDA.
SB 6 requires New Mexico State University (NMSU) to establish a New Mexico industrial hemp
research and development fund consisting of fees collected by NMDA for industrial hemp
research and development, donations, grants, and income earned from investment of the fund.
Money in the fund does not revert to any other fund at the end of a fiscal year.
SB 6 amends the Controlled Substances Act to amend the definition of “marijuana” to exclude the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta- 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Finally, SB 6 specifies the enumeration of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols, or chemical derivatives thereof as a Schedule I controlled substance does not apply to cultivation of industrial hemp by qualified entities pursuant to rules adopted by NMDA.
The House Labor and Economic Development Committee Substitute for House Bill 144, which is 3 bills combined from House Bills 154 & 280, adds a new section to statute requiring NMDA to institute and administer an industrial hemp research and development program to allow persons and institutions of higher education to grow industrial hemp for the purpose of studying the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp in New Mexico or any other purpose allowed by federal regulation or law. The bill defines “industrial hemp” as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Board of Regents is to promulgate rules to establish and carry out the program.
The bill creates the New Mexico industrial hemp research and development fund, which consists
of revenue collected by NMDA in administration of the program and any donations, grants, and
income earned from investment of the fund.
House Bill 144, this form of legislation would provide the Department of Agriculture authorization to adopt rules for research; including agricultural, agronomic, ecological, processing, sales and marketing research. The bill also provides for the establishment of a research and development fund through New Mexico State University, and allows a person to grow industrial hemp for commercial or research and development purposes; including agricultural, agronomic, ecological, processing, sales and marketing research.
All of the House Hemp bills on Research and Development got combined into one substituted bill by the House Labor & Economic Development Committee, the Substitute for House Bills 144, 154, and 280 can be view here.
The HLEDC substitute allows New Mexico Department of Agriculture to impose compliance or participation fees, granted that the fees do not exceed administrative costs. NMDA reports it cannot predict the level of revenue expected from fees, but it believes it will be insufficient to fully enact and adequately maintain the provisions of the bill without compromising activities within existing regulatory programs.
Although the level of participation is indeterminate at this time, examples from other states may
provide insight into potential revenues. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) set a
schedule of fees differentiating hemp growers from hemp processors, along with an application
Application fee: $50; Annual processor or handler fee: $400 for small processors and handlers; $1,000 for large processors; and a Grower fee: $350.
Other fees apply, such as site modification fees ($500) and a post-harvest retest, product THC
test, or pesticide residue test fee ($150). The program experienced 166 participants in 2016, 24 of
which were processors and handlers.

Seven Facts: Why New Mexico Should Legalize Hemp

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 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!

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!

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.
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.

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.

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.
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.
New Mexico can be a leader and pioneer for research and the science of medical cannabis, cannabis and hemp farming. New Mexico needs to define a new policy model for cannabis legalization; by regulating and taxing cannabis under the high standards of regulation- specific to the craft brewery industry regulations in New Mexico in conjunction with regulation and policy standards used by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

As all use of cannabis has true therapeutic and medical benefits and the state budget can benefit from it under proper regulation. Legalization Is About Freedom And Good Health, Not Greed.