Friday, December 20, 2019

Governor’s Legalization Group Recommendations Open The Door To Federal Interference

The Senate sent President Trump Fiscal Year 2020 spending legislation that continues a budget rider protecting state medical cannabis laws from federal interference. Congressional negotiators cut House-passed measures protecting all state cannabis laws from federal interference and cut the measure allowing cannabis banking from 2020 spending legislation. The bill also continues a budget rider blocking Washington, D.C. from spending its own money to regulate recreational cannabis sales.

Medical cannabis patients in New Mexico and the state of New Mexico may find themselves without those federal protections as the Governor’s Legalization Work Group recommends adopting a totally new model for a joint medical-adult use program in New Mexico.

Those federal CJS Medical Cannabis budget rider protections do not apply to a joint medical-adult use program laws. This would also have a devastating impact on the new medical cannabis in schools law, if the state is not protected from Federal interference.

Protection for state medical cannabis laws, are provided in the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment (also known as the CJS Medical Cannabis amendment), in Section 538 of the “omnibus” federal appropriations bill.

Every year, the federal budget in the US Congress (“omnibus” appropriations bill) includes this rider that continues to bar the DOJ from enforcing the federal ban on cannabis due to it’s Schedule 1 status in some circumstances pertaining to states who enact their own medical cannabis laws.

Here is the full text of the budget rider: 
“SEC. 538. None of the funds made available under this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” (

This is exactly why the medical cannabis program laws need to be separate from any proposed legalization legislation in New Mexico for 2020. 

Using the state’s medical cannabis program to create a recreational cannabis program will result in great harm coming to the state’s medical cannabis program, Americans For Safe Access policy expertise advises that any system of regulation should not be built on the backs of current medical cannabis laws.

Issues such as access, police harassment, and the price and quality of medicine will still be relevant to the patient community despite the adoption of a policy of legalization for recreational use. The federal refusal to recognize the medical efficacy of cannabis causes more harm and difficulty for patients than any failure by local or state governments to adopt policies of legalization of cannabis for recreational use. 

Any system of regulation should not be built on the backs of current medical cannabis laws. The Governor’s Legalization Work Group recommendation of adopting a totally new model for a joint medical-adult use program in New Mexico will have devastating results for the medical cannabis program and it's participants.

The legalization of cannabis for recreational use is a separate issue from safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use. Americans For Safe Access cautions policy makers against letting the debate surrounding the legalization of cannabis for recreational use obscure the science and policy regarding the medical use of cannabis.

Social Equity, Expunging cannabis records and Restorative justice provisions should be handled separately from legislation allowing recreational cannabis.  New Mexico lawmakers should be planning on addressing Social Equity, Expunging cannabis records and Restorative justice in separate legislation for 2020 first before and legalization bill.

The main focus on cannabis policy in 2020 should be on the medical cannabis program and protecting the program like Governor Lujan Grisham promised.

The state has three medical cannabis laws, all three have multiple violations being allowed to occur and all three are being ignored by the State of New Mexico.

1. "Adequate Supply" and "Purpose of the act" in the original The Lynn And Erin Compassionate Use Act are not being followed.

The fact of the matter with the New Mexico medical cannabis program plant count being decreased from 2500 cannabis plants to 1750 cannabis plants, that was done as a means of price control, period. It has nothing to do with “Adequate Supply”, as the medical cannabis program law demands.

The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (medical cannabis program) 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.

It says nothing in the MCP law about using price control for establishing a plant count for “adequate supply”.

A research assessment of physical and pharmacokinetic relationships in cannabis production and consumption in New Mexico hasn't ever been done in relation to Equivalency in Portion and Dosage for the medical cannabis program for establishing a plant count to provide “Adequate Supply”.
Here is one Colorado has done:

2. Medical Cannabis in School Law that was improperly enacted by the Public Education Department (SB-204) and the law is not being followed.
‘Gov. candidates disagree on medical cannabis at school’

3. The MCP Office and the MCAB did not fulfill their duties and responsibilities for the LECUA law (2007).
The advisory board shall convene at least twice per year. Nor were the Public hearing responsibilities followed or fulfilled for the MCAB hearing. The chairperson did not conduct a fair and impartial proceeding, did not assure that the facts were fully elicited and now the hearing is delayed.

Sources: Congress sends spending deal to Trump, ending shutdown threat | 12/19/2019 | Politico

House-Passed Marijuana Amendments Stripped From Congressional Spending Bills | December 16, 2019 |

Work group’s plan will devastate medical pot | October 28th, 2019 |