Thursday, March 7, 2019

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

Part Two: The Bad and The Ugly Bills



The Legislators in New Mexico's Roundhouse have $1.2 billion coming in for the new budget year, so there is absolutely no need to fast track recreational cannabis legalization in New Mexico for 2019 the way they are doing so.

First and Foremost these state legislators MUST keep all Medical Cannabis Policy and Recreational Cannabis Policy separate in ALL Legislation.

The legalization of cannabis for recreational use is a separate issue from safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use. Cannabis News Journal and Safe Access New Mexico joins Americans For Safe Access in cautioning policy makers against letting the debate surrounding legalization of cannabis for recreational use obscure the science and policy regarding the medical use of cannabis. They are two separate issues.

Also consider this, 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.

The Cannabis Regulation Acts, both bills, would would hijack and take away the current infrastructure from the medical cannabis program, making medical cannabis producers dual licensed to be a recreational producer. Lawmakers are elected to represent and address the needs of their constituents and that did not happened with these bills.

And still the fact remains that everything proposed in the Cannabis Regulation Acts by Drug Policy Alliance can be achieved by taking a true path to harm reduction by passing cannabis decriminalization and by expanding our current Medical Cannabis Program.

Legislators and Drug Policy Alliance at the Roundhouse have failed to Protect the Medical Cannabis Program, like Governor Lujan Grisham said had to be done before a recreational cannabis legalization bill would get signed.

We know the best outcomes for medical cannabis patients come when they have a seat at the table to discuss strategy, priorities, and policy and that did not happen with any of the current medical cannabis bills or recreational cannabis bills this year in the legislature except for SB-204, SB-477, and SB-658.

All these bills deemed to be The Bad and The Ugly Bills all have one thing in common, Drug Policy Alliance was the main source for them all. And a few of these bills were very Good Bills when introduced but became Bad Bills after they were amended and ruined.
Read More About These Bills Here: "2019 Cannabis and Hemp Bills Introduced in New Mexico’s Legislature" | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/02/2019-cannabis-and-hemp-bills-introduced.html


House Bill 356, Cannabis Regulation Act (Recreational Cannabis Bill Version 1)
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=H&legType=B&legNo=356&year=19

Current Location: House Floor for debate and vote (pending anymore “Clerical” errors)
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Rep. Javier Martínez - D (Bernalillo) Email: javier.martinez@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4236

Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas - D (Bernalillo) Email: antonio.maestas@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4333

Rep. Daymon Ely - D (Bernalillo & Sandoval) Email: daymon.ely@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4432 or (505) 248-0370


Rep. Deb A. Armstrong - D (Bernalillo) Email:deborah.armstrong@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4840

Representative Angelica Rubio - D (Doña Ana) Email: angelica.rubio@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4227 or (575) 616-1090

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

The Cannabis Regulation Act (HB-356) is bad policy for medical cannabis and is bad policy for New Mexico. This bill would prohibit anyone from making medicine, like medical cannabis oils without a license. The bill criminalizes the medical cannabis patient with a Felony charge for being in possession of to much cannabis concentrates. The Cannabis Regulation Act would hijack and take away the current infrastructure from the medical cannabis program, making the medical cannabis producers dual licensed to be a recreational producer and this will reduce safe access to medical cannabis by limiting locations. The bill does not require the dual licensed producer to stock specific medical cannabis products. The bill creates what is called the "cannabis control division" that will take over the medical cannabis program and the "cannabis control division" powers and duties will trump the Doctors on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board -basically killing the purpose of the those Doctors on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. Drug Policy Alliance is using OUR medical cannabis program as a gateway to recreational cannabis taxation and isolation.

This legislation for recreational adult use cannabis, HB-356, is favoring the business profits and potential taxes over taking the path that will result in the greatest harm reduction that will better fulfill those social justice promises. Promises and concerns of social justice, that all of the sudden became so important in 2019, but not last year or in years past.

These lawmakers all know everything proposed in the Cannabis Regulation Act by Drug Policy Alliance can be achieved by passing cannabis decriminalization and by expanding our current Medical Cannabis Program.

The Cannabis Regulation Act (HB-356) is bad policy for medical cannabis and is bad policy for New Mexico - As Patients and Caregivers we DO NOT want this bill to pass.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting NO on HB-356 Cannabis Regulation Act of 2019.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator


Senate Bill 577, Cannabis Regulation Act (Recreational Cannabis Bill Version 2)
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=577&year=19

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

Senator Cliff R. Pirtle - R (Chaves, Eddy and Otero) Email: cliff.pirtle@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4391


Senator Mark Moores - R (Bernalillo) Email: mark.moores@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4856

Senator Craig Brandt - R (Sandoval) Email: craig.brandt@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4385

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

Senator John M. Sapien - D (Bernalillo and Sandoval) Email: john.sapien@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4301

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


All the Republican/Libertarian Sponsors and A. Blair Dunn, supporting this bill have spoken out against our medical cannabis program and have spoken out against protecting medical cannabis patient rights. 

This bill will ban homegrows of cannabis and force people to buy a over priced product. Collectives for the medical cannabis program will never happen under this bill. This bill uses a state run dispensary system copied off the Utah liquor store model. This bill will create a Cannabis DUI standard.

In committee, Senator Moores said on Saturday (March 2, 2019) that medical cannabis is snake oil and how there is no scientific data supporting that medical cannabis helps any of the debilitating health conditions in the medical cannabis program.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the terms of Senate Bill 577, a state agency – called the Cannabis Control Commission – would be created to oversee cannabis production, sales and product standards.
Businesses would be allowed to maintain a drug-free workplace, and a 17 percent tax rate would be levied on retail cannabis sales.
The state, cities, and counties would all get a cut of that revenue, with some of it earmarked for training law enforcement officers on how to detect drugged driving. Other revenue would go toward substance abuse and mental health programs.

The Cannabis Regulation Act (SB-577) is bad policy for medical cannabis and is bad policy for New Mexico - As Patients and Caregivers we DO NOT want this bill to pass.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting NO on SB-577 Cannabis Regulation Act of 2019.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator




Senate Bill 406, Medical Cannabis Changes (Updated Amended Bill Does Not Benefit Medical Anymore) https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=406&year=19

Current Location: Senate Floor Calendar for debate and vote
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Bill Tallman - D (Bernalillo) Email: bill.tallman@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4373

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

New Mexico DPA office
Jessica Gelay, Policy Coordinator Email: jgelay@drugpolicy.org
Drug Policy Alliance Office Address:
1520 Paseo de Peralta, Suite A
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 983-3277 ph
nm "at" drugpolicy.org

New Mexico Department of Health
Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel Email: medical.cannabis@state.nm.us
Ph: 505-827-2613

This bill will amend the current Medical Cannabis Program law. This is a concern because of what was amended out of the bill. And this means if SB-406 passed into law, it would have to be amended to fix what was removed and that process is much harder than it sounds.

The three people drafted and worked on the bill are; Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Dept. of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel, and Drug Policy Alliance Policy Coordinator Jessica Galey. At the start of the committee hearing, Senator Ortiz y Pino told the other lawmakers how the new Cabinet Secretary had a very active role in shaping the new amended version of Senate Bill 406.

Senate Bill 406 Medical Cannabis Changes, was the bill in the legislature for 2019 that would have expanded the Medical Cannabis Program (MCP), repaired the Medical Cannabis Program and protected the Medical Cannabis Patients and Program. Now Senate Bill 406, Medical Cannabis Changes, barley changes anything for the benefit of the more than 70,000 New Mexicans in the MCP.

Basically the bill has been gutted; with all the newly proposed health conditions removed, proposed Patient Collectives removed, possession quantities changed, and patient protections diminished.

Everything Safe Access New Mexico had successfully Petitioned the MCAB was amended out of the bill, everything that the Doctors told the Department of Health to do to fix and improve the medical cannabis program was amended out of the bill, and everything the Patients recommended who were on the Drug Policy Alliances’ very own Medical Cannabis Task Force was all amended out of the Senate Bill 406 Medical Cannabis Changes.
Read More About SB-406 Here: "Changes to Senate Bill 406 Medical Cannabis Changes, Defeats the Purpose of the Legislation. Protecting Medical Cannabis Patients." | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/02/changes-to-senate-bill-406-medical.html
Here is a great example of what New Mexico's neglected Medical Cannabis Program should look like:
Americans For Safe Access Model Legislation
Updated January 2018
Click Here: https://american-safe-access.s3.amazonaws.com/sos2018/2018_model_legislation.pdf


The Voice of the Medical Cannabis Community was NOT represented at that Legislative Policy Table for 2019. Good legislative and program policy is created when those who are most affected are at that table.

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

Please write a email and/or call the three people who drafted and worked on the bill and the Governor’s Office; Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Dept. of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel, and Drug Policy Alliance Policy Coordinator Jessica Galey.

Changes to Senate Bill 406 Medical Cannabis Changes, Defeats the Purpose of the Legislation. Protecting Medical Cannabis Patients. Those 3 people working on the bill have once more excluded the medical cannabis patient community from the policy table - the people that are affected the most by this bill.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting NO on Senate Bill 406 Medical Cannabis Changes.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator


Senate Bill 404, 3-Yr Medical Cannabis Certification
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=S&legType=B&legNo=404&year=19

Current Location: House Health and Human Services Committee waiting to be scheduled.
Bill Sponsors and Contact Details:

Senator Bill B. O'Neill - D (Bernalillo) Email: oneillsd13@billoneillfornm.com
Ph: (505) 986-4260 or (505) 450-9263

Senator Dayan Hochman-Vigil - D (Bernalillo)
Email: dayan.hochman-vigil@nmlegis.gov
Ph: (505) 986-4336 or (505) 288-3500

After Dr. Rosenberg got his hands on this bill, it is now a bill that is a Yearly Card Renewal for a Card with a 3 Year Expiration Date. Rosenberg also got it in the bill so the Pediatric Patients would still have to renew cards yearly and would not qualify for a 3 year expiration date. And for all Patients, it would be up to the Provider who does your medical cannabis card if you can get one with a 3 year expiration date.
I don't see how this bill helps patients any more, it is now geared to help foster businesses that charge a fee for something that is already free to apply for and card. A business owner should not be allowed to influence legislation and state policy in a manner that benefits their own business’ ability to make more money off of patients like happen here.

Please Find your New Mexico State Legislator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting NO on Senate Bill 404 3-Yr Medical Cannabis Certification.
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 tell her the Medical Cannabis Patients and Program are NOT being Protected and lawmakers have yet to do as she said. She said on the campaign trail and in a statement to the Journal, prior to being elected, that any legislation reaching her desk for Recreation Cannabis Legalization would have to “protect medical cannabis patients”. This has not happened after SB-406 was ruined by amendments.

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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