Medpot program opens up
A judge has ruled that New Mexico's medical cannabis program must issue cards to out-of-state residents thanks to an ambiguously worded revision of the law. The revised statute says that "qualified patients" can get medical cards, but doesn't stipulate that they must be New Mexico residents; the health department insists this was so that folks who already have cards in other states can get them here, but Judge Bryan Biedscheid ruled that it means anyone from out-of-state who has a qualifying condition can also get a card here.
Don’t it always seem to go
Greer Enterprises, the family that has owned the city block that includes the Lensic Performing Arts Center for a century or so, wants to build a hotel ($ TNM) on the site of the parking lot at the corner of San Francisco and Sandoval streets. They've tried to get plans approved a few times since 1999, most recently in 2017, and will try again this autumn. The proper neighborhood meetings will go down and permit applications will be filed, so we'll keep you updated.
After Santa Fe City Councilor Signe Lindell was caught on police body cameras criticizing the police chief and making off-color comments about folks on the Plaza, the question has been raised of why police choose to record what they do. Essentially, the police policy says that cops should use them "only in conjunction with official law enforcement duties," reports The New Mexican ($), or whenever an officer "believes that a recording of an incident would be appropriate." It's not clear what happens when a cop leaves their camera on by mistake or in other cases when the camera should be on but is not.
Wanna play soccer in the dark? The winds of fortune are blowing your way. The soccer fields at the Municipal Recreation Complex off Highway 599 are (probably) finally getting the facelift they've been promised for quite a while now, and SFR's Katherine Lewin reports on what improvements other than lights are coming their way to serve our town's 6,000-ish soccer players.
When the sheriff shoots
Your Friday long-read from SFR isn't a fluff piece, but it rings much more hopeful than you'd think. Jeff Proctor takes a look at New Mexico's system for reviewing culpability in police shootings, and finds advocates across the law enforcement and legislative spectrum who want a system that moves faster, is out in the open and engenders more trust. Ideas include involving the Attorney General's Office, creating a whole new branch of government or passing the job off to public defenders.
Deja vu all over again
Alleged wage theft at one Santa Fe sushi restaurant has been in the news in the last year or so, but now a new one has popped up: Three workers from Maki Yaki, the now-closed establishment that used to be in the South St. Francis shopping complex with Albertsons, have been awarded $390,000 after the restaurant paid less than minimum wage, didn't pay overtime, and required employees to work off the clock.
Former teacher Aaron Dean Chavez has been sentenced to 12 years ($ TNM) for molesting a 6-year-old girl at Santo Niño Regional Catholic School. Chavez claims innocence. The maximum sentence for this crime is 15 years, but Judge T Glenn Ellington opted to suspend three of those years for the 1,318 days Chavez had already served on electronic monitoring.
We interrupt your usual weather programming ("It's gonna be hot") to bring you a little culture: Awesome Albuquerque poet Olivia Gatwood talked to the Daily Lobo this week about why her most recent book of poetry, Life of the Party, feels so "dark, hot, heavy, [and] mysterious," as it concentrates on true crime and a desire for reimagined justice. "That's just Albuquerque," the poet says.
Thanks for reading! The Word must admit that "School Bus Driver Steals Dog House" was not a headline she expected to see this morning, but here we are.