Aug. 19, 2017
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Morning Word: High on Health

August 2, 2017, 12:00 am

Today is Wednesday, August 2 

Weed MDs

Although the state's medical cannabis program regularly releases stats about the number qualified patients, there’s no clear picture of how many medical professionals are signing card recommendations for them. Dispensaries and docs around New Mexico are finding each other to form a pro-cannabis network by word of mouth, helping mint new cards at a quickening pace.

We're number 3!
The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a 2.8 percent rise in New Mexico's gross domestic product during the first quarter of the year, the third highest increase of any state. Much of it is due to a bump in tax revenue from the state's oil and gas industries. It’s fantastic news, just so long as you don’t think too hard about the hellishly chaotic planet you’ll leave to your grandchildren at this rate, or how outdated GDP is as a mode of measuring social welfare.

Rep. Luján cleared of ethics complaint
A little over a month after the US House Ethics Committee said they were investigating New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján for conducting campaign activity on the House floor, the committee has dismissed the complaint against him. The charge stemmed from allegations by a conservative group that alleged Lujan highlighted his participation in a sit-in on the House floor last year in a fundraising email. But the committee found that Lujan didn’t even know about the email before it went out. Ignorance is strength!

Bat signals
An endangered species of bat is being monitored by a team of researchers at New Mexico State University. Mexican long-nosed bats pollinate agave plants used in Mexican tequila. Researchers are inserting small trackers under the skin of the bats to study their migration patterns from Mexico to caves in Southwestern New Mexico, Texas and California.

Trumpcare by another name
Although the US Congress failed to repeal Obamacare, President Trump could still take the ol’ blowtorch to the thing by allowing states to take greater control over their Medicaid budgets (or by ending “BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies,” as he once tweeted). This would allow states to request waivers that might ultimately result in less coverage for certain low income people. About 40 percent of New Mexico’s population is enrolled in Medicaid, and the state health department is expected to release an updated version of its Medicaid plan by September 1.

Criminal justice roundup
Albuquerque police say the guy they shot and killed Monday pointed a gun at officers. A man who told cops he’s a bus driver with Santa Fe Public Schools was charged with soliciting oral sex from a 13-year-old. Santa Fe police say that over the weekend a father and son fired more than 20 rounds at the home of an alleged biker gang rival. And a man has pleaded guilty in federal court for murdering an 11-year-old girl and kidnapping her 9-year-old brother in the Navajo Nation.

Thanks for reading! The Word is telling it like it is this morning.



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