Friday, March 8, 2019

What Bad Cannabis Policy Looks Like: The Cannabis Regulation Act in New Mexico.

Image result for medical cannabis plants

The bill for recreational cannabis in New Mexico cleared the House chamber in a narrow 36-34 vote late Thursday night, but not before being significantly amended from its original form. 

The Cannabis Regulation Acts (HB-356/SB-577) being merged is bad policy for medical cannabis and is bad policy for New Mexico - As Medical Cannabis Patients and Caregivers we DO NOT want this bill to pass.

If recreational cannabis legalization passes will it jeopardize the implementation or even final passage of the Medical Cannabis in Schools bill, SB-204?

We have seen entire counties in New Mexico declare themselves a 2nd amendment sanctuary county to oppose bills passed in the roundhouse for gun control - Will counties now try to do this with cannabis and prohibit cannabis use all together like a dry county?

Not to mention the number of lawsuits this legalization bill will open the state up to and would not be the least bit surprised if one of the current medical cannabis producer or the patients community would challenge the bill with a lawsuit if it does pass the Legislature.

Drug Policy Alliance and New Mexico Lawmakers are playing with fire when it comes to recreational cannabis policy and it’s all of us medical cannabis patients who will get burnt if this bill passes into law.

It was amazing hear how easily the lies just poured out Democratic Representative Javier Martinez’s mouth, in letting the debate surrounding legalization of cannabis for recreational use obscure the science and policy regarding the medical use of cannabis as he read from his Drug Policy Alliance script.

“New Mexicans are with us on this issue,” Martinez said in floor remarks prior to the vote, referring to polling data showing that a majority of the state’s voters support legalizing cannabis. No, No we are not with you at all and we have all emailing and calling telling lawmakers this bad policy and these Democratic lawmakers are ignoring those pleas from their constituents.


Rep. Maestas said that the state-run stores in the compromise bill might be the “most responsible way” for regulating cannabis sales that has yet been tried in the U.S. The reality is how this will be a system leading to an extensive black market of cannabis sales across the state as people will not utilize the proposed regulated system.

“Prohibition does not work,” Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor, told his colleagues. “Let’s put the cartels out of business.” 

This bill is a socialist approach to cannabis regulation and just another form of Prohibition.

Under the compromise approved by the House, recreational cannabis stores would be run by a new state regulatory commission. In areas where there isn’t a government-run retail operation within 25 miles, private sellers could be licensed. Manufacturers would be privately licensed and heavily regulated.

Notably, the amended bill also requires that recreational consumers to maintain a receipt of sale for cannabis they possess. Those found without the receipts could face criminal charges, Martinez said when describing the changes.

What? It’s not legalization if you can be arrested for possessing cannabis. And if you possess to much in quantity of concentrates of cannabis products, then once more you are arrested and charged as a felon. The initially proposed legal possession limit of two ounces was lowered to one ounce and if you have more, once again, you get arrested.

And, unlike the original House legislation, the new version does not allow for home cultivation of recreational cannabis.  And by banning home growing, this will result in anybody and everybody deciding to do their own home grow despite the law.

What? Is the state going to go around every day at sun rise and start checking every house and doing home inspections to enforce this foolish aspect of the proposed law?

They can say not to do it but everyone who wants to will - as this already goes on in New Mexico with many things. Look at the gun control measures being passed in New Mexico and how members of law enforcement are saying some of those are unenforceable or will just be ignored.



This is what happens when lawmakers who know nothing about the cannabis plant or cannabis legislative policy, write a legalization bill - all at the “expertise” of Drug Policy Alliance. 

The House Chamber voted and passed a bill that was provided to them to read and review with only 45 minutes before the final vote. 

Misguided and Reckless Priorities Have Advanced Recreational Cannabis Legislation in New Mexico's Roundhouse.
“As governor, I will work to legalize recreational cannabis in a way that protects medical cannabis patients’ access, prioritizes public safety, and generates state revenues.” https://twitter.com/Michelle4NM/status/1042575534490738689

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. 

Will the Governor stay true to her word or will she just sign anything for legalization they put on her desk?

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.

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. 

How much money was it the medical cannabis producers donated to help elect Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham? 

Will she now sign a bill with state owned and run dispensaries, taking away their future business opportunity which could result in medical cannabis producers shutting down. 



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. 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


Please Find your New Mexico State Senator and Please tell them to Protect Medical Cannabis Patient Rights by Voting NO on the SB-577/HB-356 Cannabis Regulation Act of 2019.
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator

Drug Policy Alliance was the main source for this happening. If Drug Policy Alliance gets their way, they will kill the medical cannabis program in New Mexico for recreational cannabis. DPA work in other states with medical cannabis programs after recreational cannabis legalization, has resulted in ALL of those state medical cannabis programs having suffered...DPA legalization policy has not benefited any state’s medical cannabis program to date. A fact Drug Policy Alliance can not deny.

New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance 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@drugpolicy.org


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


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