New Mexico

Fri
13
Jan

Marijuana reforms flood state legislatures

Legislators in more than a dozen states have introduced measures to loosen laws restricting access to or criminalizing marijuana, a rush of legislative activity that supporters hope reflects a newfound willingness by public officials to embrace a trend toward legalization.

The gamut covered by measures introduced in the early days of legislative sessions underscores the patchwork approach to marijuana by states across the country — and the possibility that the different ways states treat marijuana could come to a head at the federal Justice Department, where President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to become attorney general is a staunch opponent of legal pot.

Wed
14
Dec

How the Medical Cannabis Program Helps My PTSD

Growing up in Ohio, I experienced a series of very traumatic events as a child which have impacted me throughout my life. And again, as a young adult living in South Carolina, working as a EMT and doing beach patrol. I realize now that I attempted to handle my PTSD symptoms in many ways, some healthy and some unhealthy, but still suffered through many bad decisions, lost jobs, more bad experiences, and failed relationships because of my C-PTSD symptoms.

Tue
06
Dec

United States of Marijuana: These Might Be the Next 5 States to Legalize Weed

Somebody's got to be the first state to free the weed through the legislature.

Four states, including California, the nation’s most populous, voted to legalize marijuana on November 8. That doubles the number of legal states to eight, and more than quadruples the number of people living in legal marijuana states, bringing the number to something around 64 million.

Every one of those states legalized marijuana through the initiative process, but we’re not going to see anymore initiatives on state ballots until 2018, and perhaps 2020. That means that if we are to make more progress on spreading marijuana legalization in the next couple of years, it’s going to have to come at the state house instead of the ballot box.

Wed
23
Nov

Pot Farming Becoming a Big Business

Duke Rodriguez brought a three-week-old pot plant to the State Fair, touching off a silly kerfuffle that highlights the absurdity of our current marijuana laws.

Rodriguez is president and CEO of Ultra Health LLC, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The plant he displayed to fairgoers is just one of 450 Ultra Health is permitted to grow on its 11-acre pot ranch in Bernalillo.

For publicly exhibiting a marijuana plant, the state demands Ultra Health suspend sales for five days, a penalty Rodriguez says will cost him $100,000.

There’s serious money in the legal marijuana trade, and a lot more still on the horizon.

Wed
09
Nov

New Mexico Advisory Board Votes ‘Yes’ on Treating Opioid Addiction with MMJ

A state advisory board that makes recommendations to the Health Department on New Mexico’s rapidly expanding Medical Cannabis Program voted 5-1 Friday in favor of adding “opiate use disorder” to the list of conditions that qualify, a move one health professional said could transform the state’s landscape of addiction.

If state Health Secretary-designate Lynn Gallagher adopts the new recommendations — she has the final word — thousands more New Mexicans will become eligible for the already exploding medical marijuana program. Officials say it has grown over the past year by 76 percent, to nearly 33,000 patients from 18,600.

Tue
11
Oct

New Mexico Voters Want to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

The majority of the voters in New Mexico would like to see marijuana legalized for recreational purposes, according to a new poll conducted by the Albuquerque Journal.

The survey, which was published this past Sunday, finds that 61 percent of the voting public would support a measure aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis trade – similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. Only 34 percent of the respondents said they would oppose such a proposal. Others were undecided when asked their position.

Wed
05
Oct

Study: Cannabis Production Uses as Much Energy as Data Centers

Growing cannabis uses a lot of energy, according to a report by EQ Research LLC, an organization that provides clean energy analysis for businesses and nonprofits. According to the report, cannabis grow facilities have energy needs similar to those of data centers.

The reason cannabis cultivation is so energy intensive, says Rachael Speegle, director of operations at the Verdes Foundation, New Mexico's highest-grossing medical cannabis producer, is because the plants are usually grown inside.

Mon
29
Aug

New Mexico Cop Accidentally Filmed Himself Stealing Marijuana

A New Mexico police sergeant accused of unwittingly recording himself on a lapel camera taking marijuana from his office and giving it to his girlfriend has been released from jail.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Saturday that Grants police Sgt. Roshern McKinney is out of jail.

It wasn't immediately known Sunday under what conditions he was released.

State police say McKinney was arrested Wednesday. An investigation was requested in July after the video recording was found.

McKinney was arrested on marijuana distribution, conspiracy and felony embezzlement charges in Albuquerque, NM. (Police Handout)

He faces charges of distribution of marijuana, conspiracy and felony embezzlement.

Tue
09
Aug

New Mexico's Backlog of Medical Pot Applications Criticized

The New Mexico Department of Health came under fire Thursday for its handling of a backlog of applications for medical marijuana identification cards, with one Democratic senator suggesting the agency could face court sanctions in the case of a lawsuit and the state auditor calling the situation a “public health emergency.”

The average time for processing a medical marijuana ID card is now 43 days, continuing to exceed the 30-day limit set by state law, according to DOH.

But an agency spokesman said the department is making progress in processing a surge of requests for the state-required ID cards – both from new patients and those seeking renewals.

Mon
08
Aug

Auditor: New Mexico Health Department Can Clear Medical Marijuana Backlog

New Mexico's state auditor is investigating the state Department of Health for making chronically-ill patients wait for their medical marijuana cards.

Health officials admit that for the last several months, people have waited up to 60 days for their cards. By law, they're supposed to process those within half that time.

The department has said they lack the staff to keep up with applications, but State Auditor Tim Keller said he finds that hard to believe.

Keller said after reviewing the department's finances, it appears they have more than enough money to hire all the employees they need.

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