marijuana

No More Normal: Legal Cannabis Takes Root

Apr 18, 2021
Jurassic Blueberries via CC

After many attempts over what seems like forever, New Mexico has finally passed a law making recreational cannabis use legal for adults. But the rollout is not as simple as lighting a match as special considerations for how this new law will impact New Mexicans must be addressed. It raises a lot of questions: What happens to people with prior cannabis convictions? Who will have access to the emerging industry? How will equity be enacted? And how will this affect you if you don’t have citizenship status?

Cannabis Tours via Wikimedia / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

 


Let's Talk New Mexico 4/08 8am: Last week in a special session of the New Mexico Legislature lawmakers moved to legalize recreational cannabis and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the legislation. The changes allows individuals to grow for personal use or to sell with a micro-business license and they create a structure that will gradually increase taxes over time. A separate bill allows for the expungement of criminal records for some past marijuana offenses.

 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll look at what the legislation contains, how it structures legalization and the timeline.

My 420 Tours via Wikimedia / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

  On March 30, the New Mexico Legislature convenes for a special session to focus on legalizing cannabis. A bill made it past the House in the regular session but stalled in the Senate. Reporter Natalie Fertig with Politico covers cannabis policy around the country and has been closely watching the process in New Mexico. She spoke with KUNM's Megan Kamerick her along with my co-host Andy Lyman from New Mexico Political Report for the podcast “Growing Forward: Cannabis and New Mexico.”

Cannabis Reports via Flickr / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The New Mexico Legislature failed to pass a bill legalizing recreational cannabis before the 2021 session ended on March 20. Now Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called a special session for March 30 to take up the issue. But advocates for traditional and rural communities say despite the equity provisions in the bill that died, there was not enough consideration of impacts on rural communities.

Tuesday, 11/10, 8a:  The New Mexico Legislature will almost certainly take up legalizing recreational cannabis in January. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has made it is a priority, and lawmakers are debating the merits and downsides of legalization.

This is why NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, with the help of a grant from the New Mexico Local News Fund, launched “Growing Forward” a 10-episode podcast examining cannabis. 

YNMG & COVID: On This Day

Jun 17, 2020
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In episode 76, we discuss criminal justice reform, from policing to prisons. We get a preview of the Albuquerque mayor and a city councilor plans to remake the public safety system. A criminal justice reporter tells us about COVID-19 in state prisons and reminds us that there is little race or ethnicity data to show us who is affected. But first, YNMG Executive Producer Marisa Demarco tells us what it was like to be at a protest this week where someone she knows was shot by a man trying to protect a statue of a genocidal Spanish conquistador. 

Your NM Gov: Ep. 24 With Gene Grant

Feb 21, 2020
Arianna Sena / KUNM

The 2020 legislative session is over. Gene Grant, host of New Mexico In Focus, recaps the biggest moments and topics, like the red-flag law (which passed), recreational marijuana (which didn't), free college tuition (partially funded) and more.

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This podcast is part of the project: Your N.M. Government. Funding for our legislative coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the New Mexico Local News Fund and KUNM listeners. 

n8agrin via flickr

New Mexico is among a handful of states that allow vague reporting on spending by lobbyists – people whose business it is to push an issue at the Roundhouse or otherwise try to influence the government. A new report last month shows how money is being spent and highlights the lack of transparency when it comes to money in politics. Executive Director of New Mexico Ethics Watch, Kathleen Sabo, sat down with KUNM to talk about the group's findings.

H. Zell via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Hemp was legalized in last year’s legislative session and this year, a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana is moving through the Legislature. The new hemp farms in New Mexico could pose a risk to outdoor marijuana crops.

Hemp and marijuana are different strains of the same plant. However, Jill Browning, chairwoman of the New Mexico Hemp Association, says the two industries differ in how they grow, produce and manufacture their products. “There is one thing that overlaps, and that is pollenization," she said.

John Miller via Pixabay / Creative Commons

A bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico stalled in the Senate last year. Over the summer, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham convened a work group to study the issue and gather public comment, and the group released recommendations for legalization that—among other things—prioritized equity for people who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Rep. Javier Martínez, one of the sponsors of this year’s bill, spoke with KUNM about this year’s proposal, which passed out of the Senate Public Affairs Committee on a 4-3 party-line vote Tuesday, Jan. 28. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to Albuquerque this summer to fight escalating violent crime. Public records show there wasn’t much coordination between state police and Albuquerque police before they came.

Vaping Illness Cases Rise To 12 In New Mexico

Sep 11, 2019
Lindsay Fox via Flickr / Creative Commons License

There are more cases of vaping-related illnesses appearing all over the country, and New Mexico is no exception. 

Pixabay via CC

People in Albuquerque may think getting busted with a little marijuana results in only a ticket and a fine. But state police officers were sent to Albuquerque in May to crack down on crime, and they’re enforcing state law. That means there’s still a way for even small amounts of weed or paraphernalia to put people here in cuffs.

Alexa Graham via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 


There could be more peace of mind for people in Albuquerque who don’t qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program if Mayor Tim Keller signs a measure city councilors passed on Monday. It would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

 

Sarah Gustavus

A proposal to decriminalize recreational cannabis in Albuquerque would do away with jail time and shrink fines. Co-sponsor Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis said the time is right and the measure has a lot of support. He also said it would also help police focus on more pressing things.

Sarah Gustavus

KUNM Call In Show 12/15 8a: State lawmakers learned this month the projected state budget will be $69 million short in the current fiscal year and revenue projections are down for the next fiscal year. New Mexico’s economy is highly dependent on oil and gas revenues. Could a recreational cannabis industry, similar to neighboring Colorado, change the economic outlook for the state?

Dank Depot / Creative Commons via Flickr

New Mexicans applying for medical marijuana cards—or renewing them—are waiting too long before they hear back from the Department of Health, according to state law. The state auditor has sent a warning saying if things don’t speed up, he’ll launch a special audit.

Public Health In The 2015 Session

Mar 24, 2015
Arianna Sena / KUNM

Psychiatric Meds In School—PASSED

Senate To Vote On Lighter Marijuana Penalties

Mar 10, 2015
eggrole via Flickr

People caught with less than an ounce of marijuana would be issued a citation much like a speeding ticket under a proposal that is heading to the Senate floor for a vote.

Lawmakers Ponder Greenlighting Hemp Research

Feb 24, 2015
New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Legislation that would allow universities in New Mexico to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes passed through committee Monday night. The bill could reach the Senate floor for a vote later this week.

The federal government made the distinction between hemp and marijuana official last year. Hemp contains virtually none of the mind-altering compound THC and is a highly versatile material.

Legislative Update: Money, Sex And Guns

Feb 6, 2015
ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Gwyneth Doland chatted with Chris Boros about happenings at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe this week. It's part of our People, Power and Democracy project, a reporting partnership between KUNM, New Mexico In Depth and New Mexico PBS. 

Ed Williams-KUNM

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly called for reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession Tuesday night.

The marijuana decriminalization question is non-binding and won’t change the law. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered to watch the election results last night.

Progress Now Director Pat Davis, who spearheaded initiatives in both Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties, says this is a first step towards big changes in New Mexico’s drug policy.

Federal Court Refuses To Referee Pot Dispute

Sep 18, 2014
ChristopherElison via Flickr

A federal judge has refused to referee a legal fight over whether two New Mexico counties can put nonbinding questions about marijuana and taxes on the November general election ballot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen Thursday said the court lacks jurisdiction in the dispute between Secretary of State Dianna Duran and Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties.

The counties have approved advisory ballot questions to ask voters whether they support decriminalizing marijuana.

Secretary Duran Says No To Ballot Questions On Marijuana

Sep 10, 2014
Steve A Johnson via Flickr

New Mexico's top election official says she won't place nonbinding questions about marijuana penalties on the November general election ballot for voters to decide in two counties.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran said in a statement Wednesday that state law doesn't authorize ballot questions that only ask voters their opinions on issues such as lessening penalties for possessing marijuana.

Santa Fe and Bernalillo county commissioners approved proposals this week to poll voters about their support for making possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil infraction.

Capt Piper via Flicker

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted 3-2 today to include two questions on the November ballot. One will ask whether voters support decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The other will ask whether voters support a tax increase to fund mental health services. The non-binding measures passed on a party line vote.

Commissioners voting in support of including the mental health question on the ballot said a current lack of behavioral health services in New Mexico is a growing problem for the state.

Bernalillo County OKs Decriminalize Pot Question

Sep 8, 2014

Commissioners in New Mexico's most populous county have approved a measure that would allow voters to voice their opinion on decriminalizing marijuana.

Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 on Monday on a proposal that would place the marijuana question on the November ballot.

The results of the ballot wouldn't be binding or change any policy. The questions would poll public opinion.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry last month vetoed a measure that would have allowed voters to decide whether to decriminalize marijuana possession in the state's largest city.

People's Choice: Decriminalize Marijuana?

Sep 8, 2014
Alexa Graham via Flickr / Creative Commons License

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 9/11 8a

The Santa Fe City Council approved a measure decriminalizing marijuana. Albuquerque's Mayor Richard Berry vetoed a similar proposal. And now the Bernalillo County Commission is planning to ask voters if they think possession of small amounts of marijuana should mean fines instead of jail sentences.

We'll ask what decriminalization means for individuals and government agencies in New Mexico. Is decriminalization a stepping stone to legalization on a statewide level? What are the benefits? What are potential pitfalls?