Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Could New Mexico Democrats allow Governor Martinez a legacy?

Query: would Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez sign a cannabis bill if Democrats support capital punishment for Victoria Martens' killers?

Despite the astronomical legal costs of prosecuting capital offenses, the grisly murder of an Albuquerque girl and shooting death of a Hatch cop have prompted calls from small-government Republicans in New Mexico to resurrect the death penalty for certain crimes.
Legislators and then-Gov. Bill Richardson repealed the death penalty in 2009. Though Martinez called to reinstate capital punishment when she took office in 2011, subsequent bills to bring back the death penalty languished early in her first term. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
A Nebraska study showed that that state spends about $14.6 million per year on the death penalty: a price New Mexico simply cannot afford to pay.

Senators in the single-chamber Nebraska Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of GOP Governor Pete Ricketts who supports the death penalty. Ricketts has retaliated by vowing to execute people on death row anyway after ordering drugs illegally from outside the United States.

Montana is grappling with capital punishment, too.

The litigation costs of trying a capital crime persuaded Nebraska to abandon state-sponsored killing: how are the prices and the human costs of putting people to death against their will either conservative or sustainable?

Personally? This blog believes persons convicted of capital crimes should have the right to decide his or her punishment whether it be death or living a life of Hell in a prison cell.

A state-ordered lethal injection isn't criminal justice; it's suicide by cop. Hell is life in the Penitentiary of New Mexico or in a Colorado Supermax.

The state-ordered death penalty looks far more like vengeance than justice: it's not self-reliance; it's moral hazard.

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

His resolution needs a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House to get the measure on the ballot for voters to decide bypassing a governor's veto.

New Mexico's opioid overdose rates have been plummeting thanks to the state's therapeutic cannabis program. The state's Department of Health recently announced the therapeutic cannabis program has risen to 45,347 total patients or a 77 percent increase over the same period last year.

Researchers and pharmacologists agree: cannabis is a safe and effective treatment as a bridge to recovery from opioid addiction. University of New Mexico researchers and the Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque have released findings that showed 71% of patients either ceased or reduced their use of manufactured opioids within 6 months of enrolling in that state's medical cannabis program.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.

Initiated law is a blunt instrument: cannabis statutes need to be hammered out in committee then ground into legislative sausage, passed then presented to the governor. Vermont's legislature just showed us how it's supposed to work.

But why not throw Susana a bone by letting her craft a legacy based on bipartisanship instead of on a history of lawsuits?

Democrats should put a sunset clause on capital punishment applied after Victoria Martens' killers' trials, their appeals and are put to death or imprisoned for life, draft legislation that accelerates legal cannabis then offer it to the governor.

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