New Mexico Court Rules Governor’s Veto of Hemp Bills is Unconstitutional, Laws Can Take Effect

Justices on the New Mexico Supreme Court have upheld a lower court’s decision that strikes down Governor Susana Martinez’s veto of two industrial hemp bills.

Governor Martinez’s vetoes of House Bill 144 and Senate Bill 6 is unconstitutional, the justices ruled, meaning the two measures can officially become law. The proposals permit the Department of Agriculture to issue licenses for the cultivation of industrial hemp for research and development purposes in compliance with federal provisions (Section 7606) of the 2014 Farm Act.

Justices on the Court ruled the governor’s vetoes unconstitutional based on the fact that she failed to provide any written explanation for her vetoes, meaning that legislators had no guideline for revising the bills in a way that would lead to her signing the measures or allowing them to become law without a signature. Eight others measures that the governor vetoed, which are unrelated to hemp or cannabis, will also take effect due to a lack of explanation.

Read moreNew Mexico Court Rules Governor’s Veto of Hemp Bills is Unconstitutional, Laws Can Take Effect

New Mexico Senate Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana, Including Marijuana Stores

A Senate committee in New Mexico has voted in favor of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for those 21 and older. 

Senate Joint Resolution 4, filed by Senator Ortiz Y Pino (D), was passed by the Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 4 to 3. Senators Lopez, Ortiz y Pino, Ivey-Soto, and Steinborn voted in favor of the resolution, with Senators Papen, Moores, and Pirtle voting against. The resolution would allow for the possession and personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older and for the regulation of the production, sale and taxation of marijuana in New Mexico.

“Today’s vote sets in motion the process to put the issue on a 2018 statewide ballot for voters,” said Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director with the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Marijuana prohibition in New Mexico has clearly failed. It hasn’t reduced use and instead has resulted in mass criminalization, appalling racial disparities, and enormous fiscal waste. Senator Ortiz y Pino’s resolution will allow our legislature to rethink how we can enhance the health and safety of all New Mexicans through sensible reforms.”

Read moreNew Mexico Senate Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana, Including Marijuana Stores

9 States Have Legalized Cannabis – Here Are the 5 States Most Likely to Become #10

Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).

Read more9 States Have Legalized Cannabis – Here Are the 5 States Most Likely to Become #10

Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed in New Mexico Legislature

A constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana has been pre-filed in the New Mexico Senate.

The legislation, filed by Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, would amend the New Mexico constitution by adding a new section that reads: “Possession and personal use of marijuana shall be lawful by persons twenty-one years of age or older only if the legislature provides by law for:

A. the production, processing, transportation, sale, taxation and acceptable quantities and places of use of marijuana to protect public health and safety; and

B. any state revenue generated from the taxation of marijuana to be distributed to the general fund.”

Read moreMarijuana Legalization Bill Filed in New Mexico Legislature

New Mexico Advisory Board Votes in Favor of Adding 6 New Medical Cannabis Conditions

New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board (MCAB) has voted in favor of recommending 6 new conditions be added to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The MCAB’s recommendations will now be sent to the New Mexico Department of Health, which has final say over whether or not the conditions are actually added to the medical cannabis program.

Below are the conditions that the MCAB voted in favor of (along with the vote):

  • Anxiety (3 to 1)
  • Depression (4 to 0)
  • Dystonia (4 to 0)

Read moreNew Mexico Advisory Board Votes in Favor of Adding 6 New Medical Cannabis Conditions

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Bill to Expand Medical Cannabis Law

Legislation that would have expanded New Mexico’s medical cannabis program has been vetoed by Governor Susana Martinez.

Governor Susana Martinez.

House Bill 527 would have added opioid use disorder as a condition that qualifies someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient, given they received a recommendation from a physician and registered with the state.

In her veto letter, Governor Martinez said that allowing medical cannabis for opioid use disorder is “problematic”.

“[I]ncluding“opioid use disorder” to the list of qualifying conditions for which an individual  may enroll in the  program  is  problematic”, says Martinez. In  addition  to  “bypassing  the authority  of  the  Medical  Cannabis Advisory Board”, Martinez says that “Including “opioid  use  disorder” independently will  likely  cause  a  rapid increase  in program  enrollment,  which  the  program  is  currently  unable  to  sustain.”

Martinez’s full veto letter can be found by clicking here.

Martinez also recently vetoed two hemp bills that would have done nothing more than allowed hemp to be researched.

Those in New Mexico who want to let Governor Martinez know their opinion of these vetoes can contact her office by calling (505) 476-2200 or by clicking here.

 

[Update 4/8/2017: This article has been updated to reflect that House Bill 527 would have only added opioid use disorder to the state’s medical cannabis program, not other conditions.]

New Mexico Legislature Votes to Add 14 New Medical Marijuana Conditions

New Mexico legislation that would triple the number of qualifying medical marijuana conditions, and prevent parents from losing custody of their children for being a medical cannabis patient, has been passed by the state’s full legislature

House Bill 527 passed the House of Representatives on March 9th with a 45 to 16 vote, and was passed by the Senate on March 17th with a 28 to 9 vote. It now goes to Governor Susana Martinez for consideration.

The proposed law would add 14 new medical marijuana conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, bringing the total number of conditions from 7, to 21. In addition, the measure “would not allow children to be removed and placed into state custody based solely on an individual’s participation in the medical cannabis program”, and “would also not allow someone to be precluded from receiving an anatomical gift due to that person’s participation in the program.”

Below are the 14 new medical marijuana conditions that would be added if House Bill 527 becomes law:

Read moreNew Mexico Legislature Votes to Add 14 New Medical Marijuana Conditions

New Mexico House Passes Another Hemp Bill

Following the veto of two hemp bills earlier this month by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the state’s House of Representatives has passed yet another bill to legalize hemp research.

The House passed House Bill 530 yesterday with a 65 to 1 vote. The measure, sponsored by Minority Leader Nate Gentry (R), now moves to the Senate. It’s expected to be quickly approved, sending it to the desk of Governor Susana Martinez.

House Bill 530 is similar to two bills that Governor Martinez has already vetoed this month, but a few minor changes to the proposal’s language puts it more in line with a 2014 federal farm bill that legalized hemp research. Proponents of the measure hope that this change is enough to get Martinez to sign it into law, although this is an uncertainty given the governor gave no explanation for why she vetoed the previous bills.

Read moreNew Mexico House Passes Another Hemp Bill

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Hemp Research Bill with No Explanation

A bill to legalize hemp research, which easily passed the New Mexico Legislature, was vetoed by Governor Susana Martinez (R).

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

The governor gave no explanation to why she vetoed the measure, simply stating that she’s using her constitutional power to do so.

“With the stroke of her pen, the governor just killed countless jobs and new economic opportunities in New Mexico,” said Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D), a cosponsor of the measure, following the veto. “The hemp industry has been a booming success in at least thirty other states. This common sense job-creating legislation would have been a giant step forward for New Mexico’s farmers and entrepreneurs.”

Read moreNew Mexico Governor Vetoes Hemp Research Bill with No Explanation

New Mexico Senate Passes Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana

Legislation to decriminalize the possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana, while reducing the penalties for larger amounts, has been passed by New Mexico’s full Senate.

Senate Bill 258 was passed with a strong 33 to 9 vote, sending to the House of Representatives for consideration. If passed in the House it would be sent to Governor Susana Martinez who is opposed to marijuana law reform; however, a 2/3rds vote in the legislature can override a potential veto.

Under the proposed law, possessing up to a half ounce of cannabis would become a maximum fine of $50, whereas it is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

The measure would also reduce the penalties for possessing up to 8 ounces of cannabis.

Read moreNew Mexico Senate Passes Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana