Lawmaker: Marijuana Needs Debate in New Mexico
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Lawmaker: Marijuana Needs Debate in New Mexico
Posted by CN Staff on November 25, 2014 at 17:10:08 PT
By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Albuquerque, N.M. -- The conversation about whether New Mexico should join other Western states in legalizing marijuana is cranking up as state lawmakers prepare for the 2015 legislative session.Rep. Bill McCamley, a Democrat from southern New Mexico, took his case for legalization to fellow lawmakers Tuesday during a meeting of the interim health and human services committee. McCamley dismissed the stoner humor of 1970s comics Cheech and Chong and said this should be a serious debate.
"Let's talk about the facts," he told the committee. "Let's talk about what's actually happening in terms of public policy, and let's not get caught up in stereotypes about what this is or isn't."McCamley has yet to craft the legislation, but he's looking at Oregon as a model. Voters in that state, Alaska and the District of Columbia approved ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana earlier this month, joining Colorado and Washington.In New Mexico, the push for legalization follows the success of ballot questions in two of the state's most populous counties that gauged voter support for decriminalizing marijuana."If you look at prohibition, it's basically a failure both in terms of alcohol in the 1920s and the drug war now," McCamley said during an interview. "We're spending all of this money enforcing marijuana laws and prosecuting people for smoking marijuana. That can be used in other law-enforcement efforts like prosecuting rapists and murderers  and that's important."Then there's the potential for tax revenue.There have been no studies on the economic effects legalization would have on New Mexico, a poor state and one that has long struggled when it comes to economic development. In neighboring Colorado, the state has brought in more than $52 million in taxes, licenses and fees for recreational and medical marijuana since the beginning of the year.McCamley also estimates that the state could save over $33 million in costs associated with police, courts and corrections if marijuana is legalized."If we legalize and regulate marijuana, we get the benefits of the tax money. And the cartels that are creating a lot of violence both in the United States and internationally, we cut them off at the knees at the same time," he said.A bill that would have let voters decide the issue failed during the last legislative session amid concerns about running afoul of federal law and possibly losing grant money from the U.S. Justice Department and other agencies for efforts to reduce drug trafficking and drug production.The New Mexico Sheriffs' Association has yet to develop a position on the matter."Right now, there are several sheriffs who are very opposed to it. We also have sheriffs who say let's wait and see and others who want it researched," said Jack LeVick, the group's executive director. "Before we jump on board as another state doing it, everybody needs to spend the time and really research the patterns and the problems that are existing."Gov. Susana Martinez has been an outspoken critic of decriminalizing marijuana, and control of the state House of Representatives swinging to Republicans will likely make for a challenge in getting legislation passed."We don't want to get people's expectations up, but it's very important to have this conversation," McCamley said.Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated PressPublished:  November 25, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 26, 2014 at 17:12:29 PT
You've Never Seen A Parade Float Like This
You've Never Seen A Parade Float Like This- Medical Marijuana Has Officially Lost Its StigmaGood Intentions Medical Marijuana Services has partnered with the McDonald's Corporation to bring to life a Thanksgiving Day Parade Float that emphasizes the growth of The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.URL:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 26, 2014 at 14:07:02 PT
I agree with you!
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on November 26, 2014 at 10:12:06 PT
Prohibitionists must keep talking.
When that debate takes place,Help prohibitionists carpool to the event. The more reasonable people have the opportunity to hear the IGNORANCE of cannabis prohibitionists, the sooner laws will change.Make sure people hear cannabis prohibitionists speak.Make sure cops get a microphone handed to them and make sure they open their mouth and talk about the God-given plant cannabis.Recording them is beneficial. That's important.-0-I used to believe in eliminating their platform, but not anymore.One reason the laws are changing is because people (voters) know changes are being made and the pace is picking up so they are listening to what's being said and when more people hear THE MOST IGNORANT among them, that catches the intelligent mind now more than ever.Let IGNOIDS speak. In fact force them to speak!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on November 26, 2014 at 07:21:22 PT
Cops and republicans are the problem.
"The New Mexico Sheriffs' Association has yet to develop a position on the matter."The question is, what will their unions think about, "estimates that the state could save over $33 million in costs associated with police, courts and corrections if marijuana is legalized?"And most Re-pub's still want to cage responsible adults who choose to use the God-given plant.Cops and Republicans are the problem, not cannabis.
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