Forget about the blue wave and the red wall, and consider the green rush.While the president still hasn’t conceded to the ouster that the nation’s voters delivered him in the general election earlier this month, everyone can see cannabis was a victor in states where it was on the ballot. Recreational cannabis will soon be legal in Arizona, the second of New Mexico’s neighbors to make the change. It joined three other states in adopting adult-use laws this fall and two that created medical programs.On the global scale, Mexico’s Senate has voted to make the country the third to legalize cannabis. The Economist reports that in juxtaposition to the US, such legalization has little popular support in Mexico, where surveys suggest that just over a third of voters favor it. Catholic leaders there are up in arms.Plus, there’s always Texas, where Democrats are trying again in the face of massive budget deficits driven by the coronavirus pandemic.New Mexico lawmakers are certain to take up the question of adult use recreational cannabis here again in an upcoming legislative session. Yet, which one is uncertain. The governor said last week she would call senators and representatives to work Tuesday to allocate federal pandemic relief funds in a short special session. Meanwhile, a 60-day session is planned to begin mid-January, but legislative leaders have been wrestling with how to hold it in a constitutional and health-conscious format, or whether to postpone it. How will a less-conservative Senate change the game? Stay tuned.
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Patient count hits six figures
The number of patients in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program has topped 100,000, including 11,003 in Santa Fe County, according to new statistics from the Department of Health. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet Dec. 9 using a web-based platform. Watch for the agenda and instructions on how to access the meetings at nmhealth.org/go/mcp at least 24 hours prior to the date. Among other issues, the board is set to talk about proposed rule changes from the department that limit patient reciprocity, this time aimed at disallowing New Mexicans from buying cannabis in other states.
The Navajo Nation sued 33 farmers in late October, alleging they are violating tribal law by continuing to grow cannabis, as reported in the Navajo Times. The nation has been struggling to govern a commercial-scale operation within its borders that was pitched to investors and participants as legal hemp. Law enforcement and local reports say the farms leased and operated by Dineh Benally turned out to produce large amounts of potent marijuana. Earlier this month, the FBI and DEA removed thousands of plants. Journalist Ed Williams of Searchlight New Mexico also reported on the consequences to Chinese workers who moved to the reservation with promises of legit jobs.
Around the Nation
On teens and legalization
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new research on teens and cannabis shows fewer people ages 12-17 seeking treatment for cannabis-related substance abuse problems in states where cannabis is legal for adult use. “Whatever the causes of the observed patterns,” the report says, “this research suggests that a precipitious national decline in adolescent treatment admissions, particularly in states legalizing recreational marijuana use, is occurring simultaneously within a period of increased permissiveness, decreasing perception of harm, and increasing adult use.” Read analysis from marijuanamoment.net. Cannabis use by teens overall is down, according to a the CDC’s biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Back in the ring
With an exhibition match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. planned for Nov. 28 on pay-per-view, Tyson’s cannabis venture Tyson Ranch is sure to get more attention. Boxing Scene reports on a recent podcast episode wherein he describes how he employed a Whizzinator on previous drug tests before matches. This time, the World Boxing Council standards for performance enhancing drugs will be applied, but they don’t count for cannabis.