Thursday, July 25, 2019

Minnesota, other states focus on new cannabis legislation

According to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health over 70 percent of survey respondents said therapeutic cannabis was helping to ease their post-traumatic stress and most showed “clinically meaningful” reductions in the severity of their symptoms.
“Better sleep, better appetite, I’m not so angry all the time,” said one respondent. “My memories don’t seem to bother me like they used to. This has been a life-changer for me!” [StarTribune]
Corey Day, a former executive director of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party has formed Cannabis for Economic Growth and will make the dollars and cents case for legalizing for all adults in Minnesota.
Day said he would like to see special efforts made in Minnesota to make sure that low-income people and communities of color share in the economic advantages of legalization. [MinnPost]
A New Mexico task force is drafting legislation using two bills from last session as templates. One member of the legal team is a graduate of Lyman (South Dakota) High School. Enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program is over 72,000 patients and the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts.
Just two other states – Illinois and Vermont – have legalized marijuana legislatively. The other nine states that have legalized recreational cannabis use have done so through voter petition or referendum efforts, which are not allowed in New Mexico. [Albuquerque Journal]
Despite Democratic Governor Steve Bullock's reticence therapeutic cannabis is flowering in Montana.
The Marijuana Regulation Act, or Ballot Issue No. 5, as it is currently titled with the Secretary of State's Office, would legalize recreational marijuana use, establish the state's duties in facilitating the industry, and establish tax revenue policies. "You look across all the states" that have passed recreational measures, said Pepper Peterson of Coalition 406. "Those who are willing to work with the national groups are usually the ones who rise to the top." Boiled down to their basics, both groups' measures have similarities: tax recreational marijuana about 15%, and lower or eliminate the tax on medicinal marijuana; build from the medical marijuana program and protect those providers from the large-scale retail shops that would flood the state if recreational passed; and maintain the state's tracking system to ensure [cannabis] isn't flowing in from or out to the black market. [Missoulian]
In May red state North Dakota quietly decriminalized possession of small amounts and a dispensary just opened in Williston to better serve therapeutic cannabis patients. An interim legislative committee is currently researching legalization for all adults and an initiative that provides for the Legislature to set up regulatory and licensing systems for growing and sales has been resubmitted after its sponsor made some changes.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger received the new petition Friday, starting a timeline to approve its format for circulation. The petition would need 26,904 qualified signatures by Feb. 10 to be placed on the primary ballot. [Bismarck Tribune]
North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.

Yes, South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse yet even Democrats in that red state believe residents are too fragile for legal cannabis and the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Center for Biological Diversity: livestock still threaten Gila River

ip photo of cattle shitting in a sensitive watershed on the Black Hills National Forest.

The Center for Biological Diversity is threatening to sue the US Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and its local representatives saying the agencies are allowing cattle in restricted areas along the Gila River and its tributaries in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Investigators from the center discovered cattle on the Forest in excluded riparian zones in violation of a 1998 legal settlement.
“The Forest Service has completely abdicated its legal responsibility to protect these fragile waterways and the wildlife around them,” Brian Segee, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “We found cows, trampled streambanks and water polluted with feces on nearly every mile of stream we surveyed. The Forest Service is failing to protect endangered animals that rely on these rivers and streams for their survival. We’re hopeful a court will force it to take immediate action.” [Albuquerque Journal]
Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.

Antimicrobials in manure kill fungal communities necessary for healthy forests while desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

NM cannabis task force begins work

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 just opened facilities in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly has been contentious.

The New Mexico legalization task force is beginning work on legislation today.
After eight years under the Susana Martinez administration (a government that was, to say the least, inhospitable to the plant and its medical benefits), the new governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, is making strides in the state's medical program. Patient license renewal now requires fewer hoops, and more conditions qualify for permission to use cannabis. Plus, producers are permitted to grow more plants. As a result, New Mexico's patients and cannabis providers find themselves in a very different environment than they did less than a year ago. One of the other positive externalities of medical cannabis is the mainstreaming of the plant as a treatment. The reduction in stigma cannot be understated. Cannabis is rapidly shifting from something associated with stoner culture to a legitimate field of medical study and a legitimate business operation.
Get the whole story here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Commitment to reproductive rights helping to drive New Mexico's film industry

After a Republican governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples who want to adopt a boycott of South Dakota is still having effects on tourism where some Black Hills business owners have seen decreases of some 30-40 percent this year.

But in New Mexico a billion dollar boost from the film industry has area economies enthusiastic about the future.
A recent spike in film productions and industry inquiries comes as New Mexico is set to more than double its annual state spending cap on film incentives, and as Hollywood targets both Georgia and Louisiana over recently passed restrictive abortion laws. “It’s an exciting time for film and television in Albuquerque, and we have been seeing an increase in interest from productions as a result of the political topics in Georgia and Louisiana,” said Amber Dodson, city of Albuquerque film liaison. “Our doors are open; we are an inclusive city who welcomes everyone.” [Abortion politics help fuel NM film boom]
1. A pregnant woman is the patient.
2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.
3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Alabama, Georgia and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.
4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism.
5. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.
6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.