Monday, July 30, 2018

Who We Elect in the New Mexico State Legislature

Form follows function and policy makers in New Mexico and the US for that matter- they need to stop using the debate surrounding legalization of cannabis for recreational use to obscure the science and policy regarding the harm reduction achievements of decriminalizing cannabis and the medical use of cannabis. In today’s era of how legalization, cannabis taxation and financial profits of cannabis has spread, the distinction matters and this behoves policy makers to follow a process that achieves the greatest harm reduction. 

Average Term of Service by State Legislators
New Mexico State Senate members (42 Total) have an average of 13 yrs in the State Senate with 16 of the 42 members having currently served between 13 - 41 years and 7 State Senate members have an average of 8.5 years of service from the House membership. 

New Mexico State House members (70 Total) have an average of 9 years in the House chamber with 19 of the 70 members having currently served between 10 - 45 years. 

New Mexico Senate | Occupation Listed by Senate Members (Top 5)
Attorney 5
Business Owner 5
Insurance 3
Consultant 3
Small Businessman 2

New Mexico House of Representatives | Occupation Listed by Representatives (Top 5)
Attorney 13
Retired         7
Business Owner 5
Educator 5
Engineer 4

Between both chambers in the roundhouse, 18 members are lawyers with most of them in leadership roles. 

Representative Schmedes is the only practicing licensed medical professional (UNM surgeon) in the roundhouse.  

Between both chambers in the roundhouse, 5 members list Farmer or Rancher

Between both chambers in the roundhouse, 10 members list Teacher or Educator

The Legislative Health & Human Services Committee has only one member with a medical background as a physical therapist. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures list a daily per diem average of $161 per day for New Mexico’s legislators in the states ‘Citizen Legislature’. 

Members of a Citizen Legislature on average spend 57% of time on the job compared to hybrid or full-time legislatures which spend on average 80% of their time on the job. 

Current Legislators (LEG) vs. New Mexico Adult Population (STATE)
        LEG        STATE
Millennial 0%         31%
Gen X 22% 26%
Baby Boom 59% 31%
Silent 17%    11%
Greatest         2%         1%

Top 5 Business Sectors for New Mexico since 2016
Health Care & Social Asst.
Retail Trade
Accommodation & Food Svcs 
Educational Services 
Public Administration

Most Common Occupations in New Mexico since 2016 (Top 10) 
Retail Salespersons
Personal Care Aides
Secretaries & Admin. Assistant; Example- Legal, Medical, Executive Services
Combined Food Prep. & Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 
Waiters & Waitresses
Registered Nurses
General & Operations Managers
Customer Service Representatives 
Janitors/Cleaners; Example- Maids & Housekeeping
Supervisors of Offices & Administration Support Workers

Related Article: 'New Mexico Should Reform The State LegislatureHemp, Geothermal Energy, Solar, Wind and a Paid State Legislature'

Who we elect is not reflective of our State.
Please register to Vote! 

To register to vote, you must be:
1) A U.S. citizen;
2) A New Mexico resident;
3) At least 18 years old.
4) Have Your Registration Done 30 days Before The Election Date

Register to vote or update your current voter registration online now for the November 6th 2018 General Election!  Or Call Toll Free: 1.800.477.3632 
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For policy makers, in Albuquerque, around the state and in the Roundhouse, their priority should be so it’s clear, it should be removing the public health risks of cannabis prohibition. Those public health risks, like putting people in jail for victimless crimes, jeopardizing people's access public schools and to financial aid for higher education, jeopardizing people’s employment, and exposing people to a underground market that would increase their potential to access more harmful drugs like we see with the state’s opioid epidemic. 

All of those areas of harm reduction are ones that communities in our state can see a public health improvement in, through the decriminalization of cannabis and expansion of the states medical cannabis program.

In 2019 during the Legislative 60 day Session : Pass a bill to Fix & Expand the Medical Cannabis Program, Pass a bill for Decriminalization for the State, Pass a bill for Medical Cannabis Research and get the Industrial Hemp program going with a bill for medical hemp research for the states medical cannabis program.

Today the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program has over 57,000 registered participants (most all of whom are voters) with 35 licensed non-profit producers or LNPP’s now growing 14,550 medical cannabis plants, as the program hits the end of its 10th year. The Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created in 2007, as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, under chapter 210 Senate Bill 523. New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978, after public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis…the first law.

NM Workforce Solutions (2018 Workforce Report)