Sunday, February 4, 2018

Legal cannabis, death penalty circling drain in New Mexico Roundhouse

Despite soaring enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program and outrage over the grisly deaths of children Democratic legislators have abandoned a deal with the state's governor who recently scored at the bottom of the US' most popular.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee voted 4-3 Friday to advance HB0312 a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for all adults.
That decision keeps the measure alive, but it has little chance of making the November ballot. Even the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, has said his proposal lacks enough support to clear the full 112-member Legislature to qualify for a vote of the people. [Legislative Roundup]
The bill "includes a provision barring state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in cases where the conduct is state-legal."
House Bill 155 was just the latest proposal by Republican legislators in recent years to reinstate capital punishment for certain murders. They argued the measure would have made the death penalty an option again for only the worst of the worst criminals. [Swift end for House bill to reinstate death penalty]
These are indicators of the power of the law enforcement and prison industries in a state suffering for a decade under a Republican governor.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to the preservation of civil liberties.

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.

In a related story the Libertarian Party has officially reached major party status in New Mexico.

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