61% of New Mexicans want to legalize marijuana

According to a new poll conducted by Research and Polling Inc., 61% OF New Mexicans support legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana to adults 21 and over.  The Drug Policy Alliance sponsored both the poll and a news conference at the NM Roundhouse on January 28th, 2016.  Key speakers at the conference were Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Representative Bill McCamley, Brian Sanderoff with Research and Polling Inc., and Emily Kaltenbach the State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance.

To summarize the press conference, legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana would create new revenue for New Mexico to the tune of approximately $20M – $60M (according to Senator Ortiz y Pino).  This new revenue would go to educational support, law enforcement, and substance abuse treatment programs, depending upon the instrument used to legalize marijuana.  Senator Ortiz y Pino proposes a constitutional amendment that would go before voters, while Representative McCamley introduced House Bill 75 during this legislative session.  Also, legalizing marijuana would “take money out of cartel’s hands,” according to Rep. McCamley.

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Senator Ortiz y Pino and Rep. McCamley
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Emily Kaltenbach

In theory, from my perspective, I do think that marijuana should be legalized.  Colorado has generated $125M in new taxes since marijuana was legalized there and that kind of money would be a huge boon to our economy.  There are risks, of course, as there are potential adverse effects associated with cannabis use disorder.  These adverse effects, such as temporary paranoia, temporary hallucinations, decreased lung capacity, potential cognitive decline (a recent study showed that long time marijuana users had an IQ of 8 points less between the ages of 13 and 38), increased heart rates, and potential psychotic episodes; should be acknowledged by any regulation effort.  Also, there is potential for “de-motivation” from marijuana use (it’s really not a myth and does in fact happen in some cases) and should also be discussed through educational efforts.

I see no reason NOT to legalize marijuana — as long as people use it through informed choice, then I don’t believe it to be as harmful as alcohol or nicotine, two legal yet HIGHLY destructive substances.  To learn more, please visit the Drug Policy Alliance.  Let’s get this done for New Mexico!

 

 

  1. De-motivation: My younger son was a good kid, good student. As he started his senior year in high school, he won early admittance to Virginia Tech, something very hard to do. But also during his senior year he was a pot head. He barely graduated from high school, with what in my state is called a “general” diploma, not an “academic” diploma. He was definitely not ready for college. Before graduation, his biology teacher sent my wife and me an email explaining that he didn’t want to flunk our son but he had failed to return the take-home final. The teacher wanted our son to just turn something in that day, and he wouldn’t flunk. So my wife went to the school, got our son and explained that to him. He replied that he didn’t need that course to graduate and didn’t want to bother handing in the final;.

    1. Sounds like cannabis use issues…hate that potential was lost to smoke…..has he gone back to school? I know you said he’s been clean for some time — just wondering if education has returned to his consciousness…

      1. Yes, it was pot that was his constant companion that year and a half. You ask an interesting question. He is very committed to his work in NA, loves his job working with small children in a drop-in center, likes his other job working in a hardware store, but he so far can’t motivate himself to apply himself to an education. He has taken some community-college classes but doesn’t feel he is doing them justice and doesn’t want to commit himself to a path. He would be great either in recovery work or in early childhood education, two things he also loves to do, but he doesn’t seem to see the path through education. We’ll never know, I guess, whether all that grass did in fact permanently alter his developing neuron pathways and contribute to his current motivational impasse.

        1. That or he’s afraid to fail — schools leave a lasting impression and if he feels as though he’s failed himself through education, he may believe himself to be incapable of succeeding in education — maybe…

  2. De-motivation: My younger son was a good kid, good student. As he started his senior year in high school, he won early admittance to Virginia Tech, something very hard to do. But also during his senior year he was a pot head. He barely graduated from high school, with what in my state is called a “general” diploma, not an “academic” diploma. He was definitely not ready for college. Before graduation, his biology teacher sent my wife and me an email explaining that he didn’t want to flunk our son but he had failed to return the take-home final. The teacher wanted our son to just turn something in that day, and he wouldn’t flunk. So my wife went to the school, got our son and explained that to him. He replied that he didn’t need that course to graduate and didn’t want to bother handing in the final;.

    1. Sounds like cannabis use issues…hate that potential was lost to smoke…..has he gone back to school? I know you said he’s been clean for some time — just wondering if education has returned to his consciousness…

      1. Yes, it was pot that was his constant companion that year and a half. You ask an interesting question. He is very committed to his work in NA, loves his job working with small children in a drop-in center, likes his other job working in a hardware store, but he so far can’t motivate himself to apply himself to an education. He has taken some community-college classes but doesn’t feel he is doing them justice and doesn’t want to commit himself to a path. He would be great either in recovery work or in early childhood education, two things he also loves to do, but he doesn’t seem to see the path through education. We’ll never know, I guess, whether all that grass did in fact permanently alter his developing neuron pathways and contribute to his current motivational impasse.

        1. That or he’s afraid to fail — schools leave a lasting impression and if he feels as though he’s failed himself through education, he may believe himself to be incapable of succeeding in education — maybe…