Thursday, February 14, 2019

Legal cannabis advances in New Mexico Legislature

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. This image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.
At the center of the debate is a 140-page bill that would legalize, tax and regulate the recreational use of marijuana for adults. The state now allows cannabis only for medical purposes. The proposal, House Bill 356, cleared its first committee Saturday on a 5-2 vote along party lines, with Democrats in support. “Prohibition simply does not work,” Democratic Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque said, “and the country is coming to the realization of that.” As it stands now, the proposal would include:

⋄ Imposing taxes of up to 19 percent on recreational marijuana sales. Annual tax revenue would be in the neighborhood of $56 million, legislative analysts said. The money would go to health, law enforcement and research programs, in addition to city and county governments.

⋄ Allowing cities and counties to opt out of allowing commercial sales of recreational cannabis.

⋄ Expunging criminal records on marijuana arrests and convictions.
Read the rest here.

Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health. Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Big Dope Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly is expected to be contentious.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. The revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts with the state and acknowledgement the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors, organic, geothermally heated indoors and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

Democratic then-Representative from New Mexico's First District, now-Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham worked with Republican-now-Libertarian former Gov. Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.

Participants in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program is now at 70,000 patients.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

NM Governor Lujan Grisham: fuck Trump's wall

Calling Il Trumpo's militarization of the southwest a charade Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is pulling some 118 NM National Guard troops from the state's border with Mexico but leaving some personnel in place to assist with humanitarian efforts.
Also Tuesday, Lujan Grisham directed 25 troops from other states — Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin — to withdraw from the New Mexico border. [Las Cruces Sun News]


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Rewilding the West critical to reversing the extinction of Native America

The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas resulted in a human-driven global impact on the Earth System in the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution. [Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492]
The name has been bastardized from Cyprian to Siparyann to Slippery Ann Creek. It has become a safe refuge where elk gather as they leave summer grazing in the upper Missouri River Basin and migrate downstream to escape the winter. Managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the area is at the extreme west beginning of the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.

An Odd Goddess and an interested party counted a hundred wapiti in the meadow while another hundred browsed and bugled concealed by the cottonwood and willow stands on the riverbanks. The waxing gibbous moon extended our viewing time well beyond twilight and long after the line of humans in cars and trucks on the road below us had dispersed. Then, coyotes harmonized in a chorus that continued until dawn. Spring flooding sustained stands of grass that still hid calves and cows while they lazed about.
Undeterred by its local unpopularity, last year the nonprofit bought an old storefront in downtown Lewistown for an office. [American Prairie Reserve]’s Laura Huggins said the building will eventually become a “gateway” to the APR, much like the community of West Yellowstone welcomes visitors to neighboring Yellowstone National Park. [Rural heart of Montana confronts change at Lewistown conference]
Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent. European settlement and the Industrial Revolution in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Canadian River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, enlist tribes and buy out ranchers or lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and elect Democrats to lead the way.