Thursday, March 7, 2019

New Mexico Cannabis Bills Legislative Fact Sheet - The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Part One: The Good Bills



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.

Today the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program has over 70,000 registered participants with over 75 dispensaries operated by 35 licensed non-profit producers (LNPP’s). 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.
“Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.—The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

Medical cannabis patients in New Mexico deserve safe access to their medicine at schools before the state legalizes recreational cannabis for other people to have party with.

Medical cannabis patients in New Mexico deserve safe access to medical cannabis in hospitals and medical facilities, like little kids going through the horrors of cancer treatment at UNM, before the state legalizes recreational cannabis use.

Medical cannabis patients in New Mexico deserve safe access to medical cannabis in hospice care facilities and senior retirement communities before the state legalizes cannabis for other people to have fun with.

Our Military Veterans and First Responders deserve safe and equal access to medical cannabis before the state legalizes recreational cannabis for other people to have party with.

Any state educational institution of higher learning should have safe access to research medical cannabis and the state’s medical cannabis program before legalization ruins that potential research.

All doctors and prescribing medical professionals in the State of New Mexico should have safe access to recommend the use of medical cannabis to their patients or patient's caregiver before recreational cannabis legalization.

Also consider that in other states with medical cannabis programs after recreational cannabis legalization, ALL of those state medical cannabis programs have suffered...legalization has not benefited any state’s medical cannabis program to date.

Good legislative and program policy is only created when those who are most affected are at that table.

Any focus on cannabis policy in the Roundhouse in 2019 should be on medical cannabis program expansion, education about medical cannabis and the program, and protecting the program like Governor Lujan Grisham said. Nothing has been done in eight years for any of those items.

So if you are not talking with you elected officials about medical cannabis, then ask yourself, "Who is?"

As a voter, you possess the most effective tool to influence change: your vote and your voice. As a constituent, you have the power to hold each representative accountable on the issues that affect you. But our democracy is not a spectator sport! If you want change, then you have to talk to the people elected to make our laws. As a medical cannabis advocate, it is important that you understand your power and know how to use it!



Senate Bill 204, Medical Cannabis in Schools
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=204&year=19

Current Location: House Education Committee waiting to be scheduled
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Candace Gould - R(Bernalillo & Sandoval) Email: candace.gould@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4266

Senator Jacob Candelaria - D (Bernalillo) Email: jacob.candelaria@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4380 or (505) 847-5079

Rep. Gail Armstrong - R (Catron, Socorro & Valencia)
Email: gail@gailfornewmexico.com   Ph: (505) 986-4242

Rep. Rebecca Dow - R (Grant, Hidalgo & Sierra) Email: rebecca.dow@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4453 or (575) 342-1302


Patient/Caregiver advocates were behind getting this bill created and we should all email and Thank Senator Gould for bringing this bill forward. 
This is a bill that we really need to pass, it’s one of the few bills in the 2019 Legislative Session that actually does help the medical cannabis patient/caregiver community and the program. 
Senate Bill 204 would create a new section of the Public School Code to permit the use, storage, and possession of medical cannabis in school settings under certain conditions. Students may not self-administer the medication, and parents, guardians, or school personnel may not administer the medication to students in a way disruptive to school. SB-204 would also amend the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act to remove criminal and civil liability for the use of medical cannabis on school premises, buses, or other public vehicles.
Related Article: “A Parents and Caregivers Guide to New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis in Schools Legislation (Senate Bill 204)” | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/01/a-parents-and-caregivers-guide-to-new.html

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting YES on Senate Bill 204 Medical Cannabis in Schools.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator


Senate Bill 477, Medical Cannabis and Removal of Children
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=477&year=19

Current Location: Senate Judiciary Committee waiting to be scheduled

Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez - D (Bernalillo) Email: a.sedillolopez@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4389


Please Call The Senate Judiciary Committee And Ask Them To Schedule SB-477: 505-986-4485

Patient/Caregiver advocates were behind getting this bill created and we should all email and Thank Senator Sedillo Lopez for bringing this bill forward. 
This is another bill that we really need to pass, it’s one of the few bills in the 2019 Legislative Session that actually does help the medical cannabis patient/caregiver community and the program.

Senate Bill 477 proposes a new section of law be added to the Abuse and Neglect Act, the Family Services Act, and the Public School Code. The proposed section of the Abuse and Neglect Act would indicate that a person’s participation in the state’s medical cannabis program shall not constitute grounds for intervening, removing, or placing their child into state custody. In the proposed amendment to the Family Services Act, a person’s participation in the medical cannabis program should not establish grounds for provision of prevention, diversion, or intervention services to that person’s family. The proposed section of the Public School Code would provide that no employee of a school shall report or threaten to report a parent for alleged child abuse or neglect only due to the parent’s or child’s participation in the medical cannabis program.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting YES on Senate Bill 477 Medical Cannabis and Removal of Children.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator


Senate Bill 299, Medical Cannabis and Indian Nations
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=299&year=19

Current Location: Senate Judiciary Committee waiting to be scheduled
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Benny Shendo, Jr. - D (Bernalillo, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan and Sandoval) Email: benny.shendo@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4310 or (575) 834-7359

Please Call The Senate Judiciary Committee And Ask Them To Schedule SB-299: 505-986-4485

This is another bill that we really need to pass, it’s one of the few bills in the 2019 Legislative Session that actually does help the medical cannabis patient/caregiver community and the program.

Senate Bill 299 adds a new section to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Care Act to authorize DOH to enter into intergovernmental agreements with “any sovereign Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located in New Mexico that elects to implement the provisions of the medical cannabis program”. The bill would allow DOH to provide any assistance to Indian nations, tribes, or pueblos they may request in implementing their own medical cannabis programs and guidelines on implementation. The bill includes and emergency clause.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting YES on Senate Bill 299 Medical Cannabis and Indian Nations.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator


Senate Bill 323, Decrease Cannabis Penalties (Cannabis Decriminalization Bill)
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=323&year=19

Current Location: House Judiciary Committee waiting to be scheduled
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Joseph Cervantes - D (Doña Ana) Email: Joseph@cervanteslawnm.com
Ph: (505) 986-4861 or (575) 526-5600

Senator Peter Wirth - D (Santa Fe) Majority Floor Leader
Email: peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4727 or (505) 986-4727

Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino - D (Bernalillo) Email: jortizyp@msn.com
Ph: (505) 986-4482

Senate Bill 323 amends Section 30-31-23 NMSA 1978, within the Controlled Substances Act, to provide the following penalties for possession of cannabis:

Up to one-half ounce of cannabis: penalty assessment misdemeanor, up to $50 fine

More than one-half ounce but less than one ounce:
First offense: petty misdemeanor, fine of not less than $50 or more than $100, and imprisonment for not more than 15 days
Second or subsequent offense: misdemeanor, fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000, or imprisonment for definite term of less than one year, or both

More than one ounce but less than eight ounces: misdemeanor, fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000, or imprisonment for definite term of less than one year, or both

Eight ounces or more: fourth degree felony pursuant to Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978

SB 323 also amends Section 30-31-25.1 NMSA 1978 to provide a $50 penalty assessment misdemeanor for use of or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia.

SB 323 enacts a new statutory section within Chapter 31, governing criminal procedure, to provide that payment of a fine pursuant to a penalty assessment citation shall not be considered a criminal conviction. The new Section 3 contains requirements upon and authority granted to an officer issuing a penalty assessment citation under the criminal code, requirements upon the person to whom the penalty assessment citation is issued, and requirements for the magistrate or metropolitan court to which the penalty assessment citation is submitted. SB 323 provides that penalty assessments collected by a magistrate court or metropolitan court pursuant to Section 3 shall be transferred to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) for credit to the Magistrate Drug Court Fund.

This is another bill that we really need to pass, it’s one of the few bills in the 2019 Legislative Session that actually does help the medical cannabis patient/caregiver community and the program.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting YES on Senate Bill 323 Decrease Cannabis Penalties.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator



Key Dates To Know About:

The First Session of the 54th Legislature
March 16 2019: 60 Day Legislative Session ends at noon.

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference Presented by The Verdes Foundation
Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 9 AM – 5 PM
UNM Student Union Building
Bldg 60, Suite 3020 1 University of New Mexico
https://nmcannabisconference.com/2019-conference/

Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting
Friday March 29 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Harold Runnels Building
1190 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505
http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/02/2019-petition-requesting-inclusion-of.html

2020 is a 30 day Session: in even-numbered years the Legislature is limited to dealing with budgetary matters, bills that deal with issues raised by special messages of the Governor of New Mexico, and bills vetoed in the previous session by the Governor.


We All Need To Contact Governor Lujan Grisham:
https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/

Send the Governor an Email or drop by in-person and ask her to please support all these bills. 
The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is located on the 4th floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400.
Address:
490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (505) 476-2200



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