Do you know where your candidates stand on marijuana policy?
New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.
Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.
Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.
Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!
Earlier this year, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed H.B. 527, which would have strengthened and expanded the state’s medical cannabis program. Among other changes, the bill would have created legal protections for agency staff and employees of labs, product manufacturers, and others; added protections for patients visiting from other medical cannabis states; and expanded qualifying medical conditions.
Patients and their families then called on Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher to adopt similar provisions, which the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had already recommended. Despite the support of the board and the Legislature, Secretary Gallagher announced that she is rejecting most of the recommended changes, while reserving judgment on some issues.
Although this development is deeply disappointing, the fight isn’t over. Marijuana policy reform is always a difficult battle, but across the country, medical programs continue to expand while public support grows stronger.
Thanks to the hard work of advocates like our colleagues at the Drug Policy Alliance and other committed activists, an enormous amount of progress has already been made in New Mexico — which was the first state to explicitly allow medical marijuana for PTSD. With continued determination, more improvements will surely be on the horizon.
New Mexico is considering rule changes that would make the medical marijuana program less transparent and less accountable. The proposed rules would also make it harder for patients — many of whom are disabled veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain — to access their medicine. Thousands of seriously ill patients are worried that their medicine will be taken away.
The proposed rules would reduce the number of plants that patients could grow from twelve currently to six. They would also create a new $50 patient application fee, force patients to pay for their own criminal background checks, and remove necessary checks and balances in the system. They would also triple the annual fees licensed producers must pay, which would surely be reflected in medical cannabis prices.