House Committee Shelves Medical Marijuana Bill 

  House Committee Shelves Medical Marijuana Bill 

Posted by CN Staff on February 11, 2006 at 14:32:19 PT
By Heather Clark, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 

Santa Fe, NM -- A House panel has shelved a Senate-passed bill that would have allowed patients suffering from illnesses like cancer or AIDS to use marijuana prescribed by a doctor to alleviate their pain.With the end of the legislative session set for Thursday, the move likely kills the bill for this session. The Agriculture and Water Resources Committee tabled the measure on a 4-3 vote Saturday.  "Why are you trying to kill us?'' Essie DeBonet, 61, of Albuquerque shouted at committee members as the vote sank in after an emotional hearing on the proposal.
DeBonet said she has suffered from AIDS for 18 years and needs marijuana to control the pain without giving her nausea that prevents her from eating.  Reena Szczepanski of the Drug Policy Alliance Network, which lobbied for the bill, said supporters will try to regroup and get the committee to reconsider the measure before the session ends.  "We're really disappointed, absolutely heartbroken,'' she said.  The bill would have created a program in the Health Department where doctors could have referred patients with debilitating medical conditions. Patients who were certified under the program would be able to possess marijuana without risk of prosecution by state authorities, but they could not grow it.  The committee's decision was applauded by law enforcement officers who said the proposal would cause legal problems because it conflicted with federal law and would increase illegal marijuana use and growth in the state.  Errol Chavez, director of the New Mexico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Las Cruces, told the committee that abuse and growth of marijuana increased in California after a medical marijuana law went into effect.  The committee's vote "prevents a threat from coming to the state of New Mexico, the threat of abuse of marijuana,'' he said after the meeting.  In a Feb. 8 letter circulated to the committee, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias wrote that even if the state made medical marijuana use legal, "anyone who violates the (federal) Controlled Substances Act is subject to federal prosecution.''  Sen. Cisco McSorley, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the bill, said that in states that have medical marijuana laws, no patients have been prosecuted by federal authorities. Those states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.  He said the bill also is not a move to legalize all marijuana use in New Mexico. It is about helping an estimated 250 severely ill patients, he said.  Many patients suffer severe nausea from prescription pain medications, radiation and chemotherapy, leading to loss of appetite and further weakening them, he said.  "They just want to live,'' McSorley said. "They are seriously ill and dying. They are trying to pass this law so that they have a chance at life while they are recovering from their diseases.''  McSorley was joined by Sen. Steve Komadina, R-Corrales, and a doctor, who said after researching medical marijuana laws in other states and the people who were affected by them, he became convinced that New Mexico's bill provided legal protections so that marijuana would not be abused.  "This is the tightest bill in the world,'' he said.  But committee members questioned the bill's vagueness. Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock, who voted against tabling the measure, said the bill failed to address how marijuana would be manufactured and distributed across the state and how patients would be regulated while they are taking medical marijuana.  Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, who also voted against tabling the bill, said it was sent to the committee because its members are from rural New Mexico and considered conservative.  "It's been sent here to kill it,'' Cervantes said and urged committee members to send it to the House.  Among supporters speaking to the committee was Erin Armstrong, who was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago at age 17. She said she has spent years of her life controlled by nausea from her treatments, unable to attend college and making it difficult to have friends or hold down a job.  "We are not people who seek to abuse drugs,'' she told the committee. "We're seeking a legitimate avenue to gain medical relief and medical advice from our doctors. None of us should have to decide if keeping down this next meal is worth the chance of getting arrested.''  Her mother, Debbie Armstrong, secretary for the Aging and Long-term Services Department, told the committee that as a mother, she is concerned about illegal drug use, but feels children can understand the difference between a medical need and inappropriate use.  "There's no mixed message at my house with my children about this issue,'' she said. Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Heather Clark, Associated PressPublished:  Saturday, February 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Drug Policy Alliance Anti-Drug Group Fights Medical-Marijuana Bill Marijuana: It's Time To Sanction It

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on February 12, 2006 at 14:53:56 PT

We have deep water wells. What I like is when we drilled our well for our house we found the highest spot oo our land so no contaminants could have ever seeped into the underground water table. Our water has lots of minerals. My sister has worked to keep a major dump from being put in near her town. She said to me what did I think the next war would be about. I said oil. She said no water. It makes sense since water is getting contaminated or already is contaminated.
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Comment #11 posted by whig on February 12, 2006 at 14:47:48 PT

We get city water but we have a Kenmore water distiller that we use to clean it for drinking anyhow. You should see all the nasty stuff that's left in the bottom of the distiller. I can really taste the difference too, I never liked drinking tapwater but I actually love the taste when it's freshly distilled.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 12, 2006 at 14:00:54 PT

Check this out and they worry about cigarettes.***Well-Water Woes: Cañoncito Residents Search for Solutions February 12, 2006Mike Bradford was just a few days from buying his dream home on 2 acres of property in Cañoncito when he got a letter from the mortgage company saying his loan had been denied. It wasn't because Bradford had bad credit. Instead, his Realtor had told New Mexico Mortgage that the home he was getting ready to buy was connected to the Cañoncito water system -- whose two wells and water tank are contaminated with radium isotopes 226 and 228.
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Comment #9 posted by whig on February 12, 2006 at 13:56:40 PT

More OT: Hypocrisy
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 12, 2006 at 13:53:10 PT

Off Topic: Oops
Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter***February 12, 2006WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday.Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets on Saturday while the two were hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.Armstrong said Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.Complete Article:
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Comment #7 posted by whig on February 12, 2006 at 13:30:15 PT

Another Dick Cheney?
Representative Richard P. Cheney (San Juan County) 505-986-4227
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Comment #6 posted by Taylor121 on February 12, 2006 at 12:05:52 PT

The Ones Responsible
House Agriculture and Water Resources CommitteeThese are the law-makers responsible for crushing medical marijuana bill SB 258 in New Mexico:Representative Joe M. Stell
(Eddy and Otero Counties)
505-986-4423Representative Ray Begaye
(San Juan County)
505-986-4436Representative Joseph Cervantes
(Dona Ana County)
505-986-4411Representative Richard P. Cheney
(San Juan County)
505-986-4227Representative Andy Nunez
(Dona Ana County)
505-986-4233Representative Sandra L. Townsend
(San Juan County)
505-986-4214Representative Don L. Tripp
(Catron, Socorro, and Valencia Counties)
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Comment #5 posted by runderwo on February 12, 2006 at 11:39:34 PT

wishful thinker
"Errol Chavez, director of the New Mexico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Las Cruces, told the committee that abuse and growth of marijuana increased in California after a medical marijuana law went into effect."Evidence please, MPP studies claim the opposite."The committee's vote "prevents a threat from coming to the state of New Mexico, the threat of abuse of marijuana,'' he said after the meeting."Yes, because marijuana's illegality ensures that there is no threat of abuse.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on February 12, 2006 at 07:28:46 PT

Up or Down vote
The Conservatives are always calling for an “Up or Down” vote in the full session. We want our “Up or Down” vote too. Anyway we will be back and we will keep trying.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on February 11, 2006 at 20:23:20 PT

maybe this is still on the radio
Feb 11 06 Free talk Live! 07:00 PM Jack Cole  USA 
 At 7PM EST, Executive Director Jack Cole is a guest on Free talk Live! Jack will be talking about the failures of drug prohibition and LEAP's mission to end the same. For a list of affiliates visit: Dialup and broadband streams are available for free at 
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 11, 2006 at 16:30:02 PT

To Quote Southpark
You killed Kenny. You Bastards!How dare the federal government interfere with state legislatures. How dare the state legislature go against the will of the voters.But hey, I'm still celebrating the government's ineffective war against marijuana consumers. Puff, puff, pass.
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Comment #1 posted by telarus on February 11, 2006 at 15:05:12 PT:

The Function of the Drug War
The Function of the Drug War
by J. Orlin GrabbeThe function of the Drug War is to create the Drug Crisis. The Drug Crisis involves billions of dollars in hidden cash flow. Addicted to this flow of money are law enforcement agencies, drug producers and distributors, covert agencies who use it as a source of black funding, and politicians and bankers who are hired to protect the drug revenues. Addiction to drug revenues requires that the drug war be fought so as to be lost. Failure thus becomes the criterion of success.
Article Continues Here
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