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Morning Word: Poll Shows Huge Support for Marijuana Legalization

October 10, 2016, 8:00 am
Cannabis Legalization Popular With Younger Voters
New Mexicans won’t get to vote on legalizing marijuana for adult social use on Nov. 8, but if the issue was on the ballot, it would likely win. A new poll shows that 61 percent of likely voters here would support taxing and regulating the drug for adult recreational use.
The Albuquerque Journal survey (published Sunday) also reveals a strong generational difference. More than four in five – 82 percent – of voters ages 18 to 34 said they would support a proposal to legalize pot for recreational use, while just 45 percent of those 65 and older expressed support.

In addition to age, party affiliation was a key predictor of public opinion about legalizing pot. Seventy percent of Democrats, but just 40 percent of Republicans, said they would support the measure. Independents topped both, with 81 percent support for legalization.
Solvency Bills Only a Short-Term Fix
Lawmakers passed some short-term budget fixes when they convened in Santa Fe last week, but they’ll “still be grappling with the current year’s budget when they return to the Capitol for a regular 60-day session beginning in January,” reports Andrew Oxford. 

Governor’s Crime Reform Agenda a Factor in Legislative Races
The contentious special session is probably just a preview of what we’ll see in legislative races in the run up to next month’s election. Deborah Baker has a look at some of the hotly contested legislative races around the state and how the governor’s crime reform agenda is factoring in them.

Atkeson Analyzes Debate
There were personal attacks and few real policy discussions in last night’s presidential debate. UNM Political Science Professor Lonna Atkeson analyzed the candidate’s performances with KOB’s Tom Joles following the broadcast, and says the 10 percent of Republicans who are dumping Donald Trump following the release of those Access Hollywood tapes is enough to end his hopes of winning the White House next month. 
Paid Sick Leave Campaigns Gain Support
It won’t be on the ballot in Albuquerque this year, but campaigns to require most private business to give workers paid time off when they’re sick is picking up momentum in other parts of the country. 

Las Vegas Called a ‘Mental Health Ghetto’
The directors of the Mental Health Association of New Mexico says the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico, has become a “mental health ghetto,” while others claim the community has become a dumping ground for people released from the state’s psych hospital and set up in boarding homes.
An Albuquerque Journal investigation found that residents of some boarding homes in Las Vegas live in crowded conditions and may go hungry because of inadequate meals provided by operators. There have also been reports of verbal and physical abuse, and financial exploitation of residents by operators, as well as violence and drug abuse by residents.
Santa Fe Teachers Excel in Math and Science Education
Three Santa Fe Public School educators are finalists for a state award for excellence in teaching math and science courses.

Haaland Supports North Dakota Indians’ Pipeline Protest
Debra Haaland, the state’s Democratic Party chair, spent some time up in North Dakota to show her solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux members who want construction of an oil pipeline that cuts through sacred land halted.


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