Medical Marijuana Bill Fails 

Medical Marijuana Bill Fails 
Posted by CN Staff on March 20, 2005 at 08:03:40 PT
By Steve Terrell, The New Mexican 
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican
A Republican supporter of a bill that would allow sufferers of certain serious diseases to use marijuana made a last-minute — literally — attempt to pass the bill that sat for days on the House calendar as a result of a political dispute over an unrelated bill.Though the move was unexpected, it wouldn’t have been impossible to push the bill through. In the closing minutes of the session — which, according to the state constitution, ended at noon — the House took action on several bills.
However, the attempt to revive Senate Bill 795 was stopped cold by House Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambé, who said, “This is a very controversial item. We probably need a three-hour debate.”Then House Majority Leader Kenny Martinez of Grants moved to adjourn the session.Medical marijuana was one of this session’s most glaring examples of how bills can be delayed, held hostage and even killed as a result of political spats between lawmakers.In this case, Rep. Dan Silva, D-Albuquerque, admitted this week he was working to hold up SB 795 until the Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill of his dealing with impact fees on Albuquerque developers.The connection was Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, the chairman of the judiciary committee as well as the sponsor of the medical-marijuana bill.Silva’s bill never got heard. And even though McSorley’s bill was on the House Floor Calendar for six days last week, there was no mention of it on the House floor until Foley’s motion.The speaker of the House has the authority to decide when bills get heard on the floor.Luján said Saturday that Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, D-Albuquerque, who was carrying the bill in the House for McSorley, asked for the bill to be passed over.Saavedra was a co-sponsor of Silva’s impact-fees bill. Both Saavedra and Silva have sons who worked as lobbyists advocating Silva’s bill.Luján said medical-marijuana advocates never spoke to him about getting the bill heard. Asked if that would have swayed him to hear it, Luján said, “It would have helped.”Reena Szczepanski, director of the New Mexico Drug Policy Alliance, said she and others contacted the speaker’s office several times last week. Luján wouldn’t say if he’d have voted for SB 795. But Gov. Bill Richardson said Saturday he would have signed it.“The House chose not to help dying people,” McSorley said Saturday. “It was money over mercy.”  Source: Santa Fe New Mexican (NM)Author: Steve Terrell, The New Mexican Published: March 20, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Santa Fe New MexicanContact: letters sfnewmexican.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Marijuana Bill Dies at Session's End Survivor Backs Bill on Medical Marijuana
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 21, 2005 at 19:15:10 PT
Related Article from
Medical Marijuana Inches Closer To Passage
 March 21, 2005SANTA FE -- Despite a disheartening loss this year, advocates are inching closer to reviving a state program allowing the medical use of marijuana.The proposal got further during the just-ended legislative session than it had previously, and Governor Richardson had said he was prepared to sign it.The measure passed the Senate and then two House committees but fell victim at the last minute to an unrelated political squabble between lawmakers.Although the bill sat on the House calendar for most of the last week of the session, no vote ever was taken on it.Sixty-year-old Essie DeBonet says she couldn't believe it. The frail AIDS patient sat in the House gallery day after day waiting for the vote.House Speaker Ben Lujan says the progress of the bill this year is indicative that there is strong support for it.Copyright 2005 Associated Press
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Comment #6 posted by BGreen on March 21, 2005 at 14:54:53 PT
Wrong thread
Sorry.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on March 21, 2005 at 14:52:24 PT
We're Not Alone In The Way We Feel
An ABC News poll on Monday showed Americans strongly disapproved of the intervention by Congress and two thirds believed lawmakers were using her case for political gain. Seventy percent called it inappropriate.Another tipping point for the amerikan people.Mrs. Green joked earlier that the "W" bumperstickers on so many SUV's and cars means "What did we get ourselves into?"The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 21, 2005 at 14:45:11 PT
DPA: Reform on Hold in New Mexico
Monday, March 21, 2005The tireless work of Drug Policy Alliance supporters in New Mexico and the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico staff brought medical marijuana legislation close to passing this year, but the legislative session ended on Saturday before the House could vote on a medical marijuana bill, SB 795. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cisco McSorley, had already passed the Senate, and Governor Bill Richardson publicly said he would sign it if it passed the House. 
The bill was on the House calendar last week but was never actually brought to a vote. Another legislator, Rep. Dan Silva, stated that he was working to delay SB 795 because he was having trouble getting a bill of his own heard in the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. McSorley. 
Patients and advocates were outraged that politics could stand in the way of a bill that would positively impact so many lives when 81% of New Mexicans believe patients should have access to medical marijuana. However, this legislative session was still a victory for reform, because the question is no longer whether New Mexico should pass medical marijuana legislation, but when. With such strong support and with the momentum built for medical marijuana over the past two months, reform will soon be realized in New Mexico.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 21, 2005 at 08:01:34 PT
I'm so sorry. I know how I feel about some of the states and how they'll go. I only see hope in a few states.
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Comment #2 posted by dididadadidit on March 21, 2005 at 07:48:06 PT
Can't Resist: Told You So.
Previously posted when the senate passed 3 versions of MMJ."Comment #2 posted by dididadadidit on March 03, 2005 at 09:19:40 PT Don't Count on New MexicoThe numbers in the senate do indeed hold out some hope, but I've seen NM come close too many times in the past to hold my breath on a good outcome. It is still quite probable, in spite of high senate support, that it is the houses turn to torpedo the legislation this year, or barring an outright sinking, pass a dissimilar bill to anything out of the senate and then fail to get anything at all through house senate conference, as was the case when getting close with governor Johnson. "The third bill, sponsored by Sen. Shannon Robinson, D-Albuquerque, would allow people with chronic or debilitating diseases marked by pain or severe muscle spasms to use marijuana only topically — in a patch, lotion or gel, for example. " Of course, the house could go along with the most useless senate version, quoted above, and pass a bill essentially worthless. If one is nauseous or in muscle spasm, how long will rubbing lotion on the stomach or muscle take to effect any relief? Get real! Do people rub the cox-2 arthritis pain relief on their aching joints? No, they get the relief (along with the increased risk of heart attack and stroke) by ingesting the medication. Same with cannabis (minus the lethal side effects), and smoking or use of a vaporizer is the logical method of administration as it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and the dose needed for relief easily controlled (as opposed to eating cannabis (or Marinol) which takes time to digest and is difficult to control the desired dose). Sorry, don't count on NM. We've screwed it up before and likely will again."Indeed, it was the turn for the "house" to kill the legislation this year. It works the same way with these people when attempts are made to deal with a "real" drug problem, namely DWI. Drunks can drive the wrong way on the interstate and kill 4 people at a time in NM (done it more than once) and get 4 years maximum in the slam and the NM legislature is powerless to get tough on alcoholic murder.So sad.Cheers??
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on March 20, 2005 at 11:30:32 PT
Poor Title
It should read, "Medical Marijuana Bill *Blocked*!!!"There was no vote: the bill did *NOT* fail! It didn't get a chance. The NM legislature deliberately passed it over for three days! During that time they dithered with other concerns.
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