At the same time as the New Mexico Department of Health plans to shut down its teen drug detox center, a new survey shows state high schoolers have one of the nation’s highest drug use rates, including the second highest cocaine and Ecstasy use; fifth highest for methamphetamine; eighth highest for heroin; and second highest for marijuana use.
Battling Addiction Isn't Easy
Over the past five years, the county’s overdose rate was three times the statewide average, and more than five times the national rate. According to a 2013 survey of 969 Española teenagers, nearly 5 percent of high school students said they had used heroin within the last month, as opposed to 2.9 percent statewide.
More Calls to Legalize Cannabis
Of course, no one believes adolescents should be smoking cannabis or doing other drugs until their brains and lungs are fully developed, but there are more calls for legalizing cannabis in New Mexico. Albuquerque resident Kathy Sullivan writes it would boost the state’s economy and create jobs, and all you have to do is look north to Colorado to see that marijuana-related crimes have decreased since that state’s voters make pot legal for adult social use.
Fiscal Policies Impact Energy-Reliant States
While cannabis legalization could boost the state coffers, it turns out New Mexico isn’t the only state forecasting budgets shortfalls based on a reliance on the energy sector and steep declines in oil and gas revenues, not to mention ill-advised personal income tax cuts for the wealthy.
Johnson Plans Albuquerque Rally
Gary Johnson is planning a Thursday rally for his presidential campaign at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Ahead of the event, Johnson’s picked up some more endorsements from Republicans who can’t stomach Donald Trump, including US Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia, who won’t be coming to the Duke City for Republican Vice President Nominee Mike Pence’s fundraising visit August 16.
Outgoing Spaceport Chief Lauds Accomplishments
Tired of what she deems unfair media coverage, Spaceport America CEO Christine Anderson, who is resigning after five years, penned an article defending the center’s accomplishments under her helm, including 28 launches and another half dozen planned in the next six months.
Budget Cuts Hit State Library Hard
Frank Norris, a historian who lives and works in Santa Fe, says state budget cuts are having a big impact on the state’s library and its Southwest Collection research center in Santa Fe, which is now only open two days a week.
Wow. Michael Phelps picked up his 19th Olympic Gold Medal over the weekend in Rio in the 4x100 relay. During his swimming careers, Phelps has won an unprecedented 23 medals with two silvers and two bronzes filling out his tally.
Better Call a Strike
Actor Bob Odenkirk is back in Albuquerque ahead of filming “Better Call Saul” season 3. Saturday, he threw out the first pitch at Isotopes Park. It wasn’t his best fastball, but it definitely looks like was in the strike zone. Odenkirk also led the crowd in song with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Spoiler alert: You better cover the dog’s ears before listening to his rendition on YouTube.
Special Field Recognition
The Sports Turf Managers Association is recognizing Isotopes director of field operations Casey Griffin and his crew with the Association's Stars and Stripes Award for the Isotopes' designs cut into the field that always make Isotopes Park look as good as what you’d see major league stadiums.