NM Extends Hearings On Medical Cannabis Rules, Ends Recreational Cougar Trapping

Nov 23, 2019

NM Extends Hearings On Medical Cannabis Rules -Associated Press

New Mexico is extending opportunities for public comment on changes in medical marijuana regulations aimed at bolstering health protections and patient access.

Winter weather and icy roads delayed the opening of a hearing Friday on proposed rule changes to requirements for testing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products for the presence of heavy metals, pesticides and potency.

The state Health Department says public comment will be extended to a date in January that has yet to be determined.

The proposed rules also would create cannabis consumption areas to be operated at approved dispensaries. Certain additives would be prohibited for cannabis products that are inhaled.

That includes an additive suspected as a source of vaping-related lung injury. Packaging would change to avoid confusion between cannabis products and ordinary food or candy.

New Mexico Ends Recreational Cougar Trapping -Associated Press

New regulations have been adopted by the New Mexico Game Commission that will prohibit recreational cougar trapping in the state beginning next year.

The commission voted unanimously in favor the new regulations during a meeting Thursday in Roswell.

The decision comes after Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Humane Society of the United States sued. The groups argued that indiscriminate traps and snares threatened legally protected species such as Mexican gray wolves and that hunting quotas for cougars were unsustainably high.

Under the new rules, hunting quotas for cougars will be reduced. New Mexico hunters will be permitted to kill 580 cougars over the next four years.

Trapping opponents applauded the vote but said the commission should consider doing away with all traps and snares on public lands.

Boy Scouts Mortgage Vast New Mexico Ranch As Collateral -Associated Press

One of the most spectacular properties owned by the Boy Scouts of America is being been mortgaged to help secure the youth organization's line of credit.

The Boy Scouts say there is no plan to sell the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. It is being used as collateral to help meet financial needs that include rising insurance costs related to sex-abuse litigation.

The move dismayed a member of Philmont's oversight committee, who says it violates agreements made when the land was donated in 1938. The BSA disputed his assertion.

The mortgage document was signed by top Boy Scout officials in March. But members of the Philmont Ranch Committee only recently learned of the development.

The ranch is a popular destination for hiking and camping trips.

AG Barr To Unveil Plan On Missing, Murdered Native Americans

Attorney General William Barr is announcing a national plan to address cases of missing and murdered indigenous people as concerns mount over the level of violence they face.

Barr will make the announcement Friday about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous

Persons Initiative on the Flathead Reservation in Montana.

The plan adds specialized coordinators in 11 U.S. attorney's offices who would coordinate the law enforcement response for cases of missing indigenous people.

It also allows for tribal or local law enforcement officials to ask the FBI to bring additional tools, including child abduction teams, evidence response teams and victim services workers.

The Justice Department will also undertake an in-depth analysis into its data collection practices and federal databases to identify additional ways to improve data on missing persons.

Asylum-Seekers In Arizona To Be Bused To Texas, Then Mexico -Associated Press

Asylum-seekers who cross the border through Arizona are now being bused by immigration authorities to Texas, where they can be sent to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court hearings.

The government said its highly criticized program known colloquially as Remain in Mexico is now in effect all across the Southwestern border. That includes the Tucson Sector, which comprises a large chunk of Arizona.

The Washington Post first reported the news that authorities plan on busing migrants from Arizona to El Paso to be sent to Mexico.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed that migrants apprehended in Arizona will also be subject to the program, called Migrant Protection Protocols.

The government has forced over 55,000 asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico. The migrants often wait in squalid camps, and many are kidnapped, robbed or extorted.

New Mexico Chronic Disease Deaths Decline -Associated Press

New Mexico's health department says death rates in the state from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke declined last year, but rates of suicide, homicide and unintentional injuries were up.

The latest numbers are outlined in the state's highlights of vital statistics for 2018. 

Deaths from flu and pneumonia also rose in 2018 from the previous year.

Life expectancy at birth for people in New Mexico in 2018 was 78.1 years, a slight decrease from 78.2 in the prior year. Life expectancy declined for males from 75.3 to 74.9, while life expectancy for females increased from 81.2 to 81.5 years.

The birth rate in the state continued to decline to a record low of 11 births per 1,000 people.

Albuquerque To Try Comprehensive Crime-Fighting Plan -Associated Press

Facing another year of record homicides, New Mexico's largest city plans to tackle violent crime with a more comprehensive approach.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller on Friday outlined the city's new violence intervention program. It's the result of almost nine months of learning from efforts that have shown promise in places such as New York City and Oakland.

The mayor says fighting violent crime is complicated because it's usually rooted in issues such as domestic violence or addiction. He says solving those problems will take a team of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, social services and community partners.

A new unit within the Albuquerque Police Department will help coordinate the effort.

Officials say data shows most of Albuquerque's violent crimes have been committed by young men so improving outcomes for youth will be part of the equation.

Warren Taps US Rep. Deb Haaland, 2 Others As 'Co-Chairs' -Associated Press

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has named U.S. Reps. Deb Haaland, Ayanna Pressley and Katie Porter as her campaign co-chairs.

Warren made the announcement Friday on social media with a video of the congresswomen at her campaign rallies.

Haaland of Albuquerque is one of the first Native American women elected to the U.S. House.

Pressley was elected to her Boston-area seat after defeating a Democratic incumbent in a primary last year.

She is the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts.

Porter represents a district south of Los Angeles.

It was not immediately clear what role the co-chairs will play in the campaign.