Argument against legalization of marijuana in N.M.

Will legalizing marijuana in New Mexico create the same messes that California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska are now dealing with? The facts and figures from these states speak for themselves.

I live in Mountainair. I am also Deputy Executive Director of Foundation for a Drug Free World, (New Mexico chapter) based in Albuquerque. Since becoming a volunteer with this group, I’ve talked to a

lot of kids and parents about drugs. Almost one for one there is great concern about this topic, and often shared stories about a family member who is addicted to one drug or another.

There are many who support the legalization of marijuana. Our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, feels it should be legalized. She feels it would restrict minors’ access to the drug. She also feels it would protect accessibility for medically needy consumers. And she feels it would reinvest in poor communities.

Unfortunately, this reasoning is flawed. Safeguards in states’ legislation to prevent minors from having easy access to marijuana have not worked. For instance, data in Oregon shows that there is now increased use by 14-18 year old kids. Many of these youngsters are consuming pot in the form of edibles and by vaping. And 62 percent of Oregon’s 11th-graders report “very easy” access to marijuana. This unfortunate situation is repeated state by state wherever marijuana has been legalized. Even the presence of medical marijuana users and growers in a community have been shown to increase the recreational use of the drug by young people.

Oregon is not the only state with these problems. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Heath (NSDUH) marijuana use in all legalized states and the District of Columbia has increased since legalization.

I have grandchildren who are 8, 9 and 14 years old. I care about their future, as most parents and grandparents do. Many people are not aware of the harm marijuana use can permanently cause a young developing brain. Marijuana consumed during childhood may lead to long-term impairment in memory, emotional reactivity, anxiety and depression.

And to make matters worse, edibles in the form of marijuana-laced cookies and candies appeal especially to children. These products seem to go along with marijuana’s legalization, being available for sale in dispensaries. Kids are not as able to limit themselves and can easily overdose on these drugged sweets.

Marijuana-related emergency room visits have increased dramatically since legalization. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the increase was 35 percent between the years of 2011 and 2015. Hospitals in Colorado have suffered financially from the impact.

Crime and black market activities related to marijuana’s use and production are on the increase in legalized states. In other words, legalizing the drug has not slowed black market production. The confiscation of illegal marijuana growing operations have become increasingly common.

Can New Mexico afford the impact on its citizens’ health and welfare with the legalization of this drug? Our legislators need to take a long hard look at the statistics available from the states that are now dealing with legalization’s repercussions.

In my opinion, easy access to a marijuana as a recreational drug does not balance the injury, harm, increased crime and danger to our youth that would result from its legalization. This is not about being “moral” or “too straight.” I smoked pot as a young woman and quit when I had a particularly bad experience. And compared to today’s pot, that was baby stuff. The potency of marijuana today is many times what it was in the 1970s. I urge you to write to your legislator and ask them to vote against the legalization of marijuana, House Bill 356 Cannabis Regulation Act. There is just too much at stake.

Merry Rosenfield

Deputy Executive Director

Foundation for a Drug Free World Albuquerque Chapter

Against bill to end criminal penalties for abortion

House Bill 51 is being considered at the Legislature now. The purpose of this bill is to end criminal penalties for abortion. I urge our legislators to not pass this bill. Innocent human life must be protected. They are just babies.

David Martinez

Edgewood

Letter from the NM Sheriff’s Association

The New Mexico Sheriffs Association recognizes that the firearm has a strong heritage in our nation; a legacy where the founding fathers of the republic were patriots with firearms in their hands fighting against tyranny for the freedom and liberty they were denied. Upon their victory, they formed a new government to protect their hard fought achievement. In the framing of this government, they drafted amendments to protect their rights. Thus was born the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is an amendment that has often been challenged and interpreted by the highest court of the land and to this day stands as an individual right for each law abiding citizen to keep and bear arms.
Today firearms have an important role in arming law-enforcement and the military for protection of citizens and for preserving our individual rights and freedoms, as well as a role for law-abiding citizens who may freely choose to arm themselves as collectors to hunt, compete in shooting sports, participate in recreational shooting or personal and home defense. Should it become necessary, the citizens will be armed to stand and protect the republic once again as the original framers of the constitution intended.
The Sheriff is elected by the people within a sovereign state and county to protect and serve all people within the county at the time of assuming the Office. The Sheriff swears a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico.
29 out of the 33 New Mexico Sheriffs agree that the rush to react to the violence by proposing controls on guns is ill conceived and is truly a distraction to the real problems proliferating violence in our counties and our state. We oppose Senate Bill 8 as it stands this bill does nothing to protect citizens and is unenforceable. We also oppose House Bill 83 as it violates due process and puts law enforcement in a more dangerous situation and does nothing to protect citizens. This bill could disarm the very people trying to defend their lives and personal property. Furthermore there are already provisions in state law that allow law enforcement to deal with people in crisis. We oppose House Bill 87 as it duplicates a law already deemed enforceable by a court order from a District Judge. We oppose House Bill 130 as there is already provision in state law that allow law enforcement to charge the appropriate crime if a child gains access to a firearm.
The Sheriffs stand to encourage the full and complete enforcement of existing gun regulations and to oppose any executive order or laws that further restrict the rights of law-abiding people to own possess keep and use firearms. As duly elected sheriffs, we are committed to take the lead role in facilitating the discussions in our communities and pledge to collaborate at all levels with those stakeholders to identify and work towards solutions for the complex issue of violence.

Signed,

New Mexico Sheriffs Association Chairman

Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton
Catron County Sheriff Ian Fletcher
Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage
San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari
McKinley County Sheriff Ron Silversmith Socorro County Sheriff William Armijo
Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller
Hildago County Sheriff Warren Walters
Chavez County Sheriff Mike Harrington
Colfax County Sheriff Leonard Baca
De Baca County Sheriff Robert Roybal
Grant County Sheriff Frank Gomez
Guadalupe County Sheriff Lorenzo Mata Harding County Sheriff Ray Gutierrez
Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd
Luna County Sheriff Kelly Gannaway
Otero County Sheriff David Black
Quay County Sheriff Russell Shafer
Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker
Sandoval County Sheriff Jesse Casaus
San Miguel County Sheriff Christopher Lopez
Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton
Torrance County Sheriff Martin Rivera
Union County Sheriff James Lobb
Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil

Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton
Catron County Sheriff Ian Fletcher
Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage
San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari
McKinley County Sheriff Ron Silversmith Socorro County Sheriff William Armijo
Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller
Hildago County Sheriff Warren Walters
Chavez County Sheriff Mike Harrington
Colfax County Sheriff Leonard Baca
De Baca County Sheriff Robert Roybal
Grant County Sheriff Frank Gomez
Guadalupe County Sheriff Lorenzo Mata Harding County Sheriff Ray Gutierrez
Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd
Luna County Sheriff Kelly Gannaway
Otero County Sheriff David Black
Quay County Sheriff Russell Shafer
Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker
Sandoval County Sheriff Jesse Casaus
San Miguel County Sheriff Christopher Lopez
Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton
Torrance County Sheriff Martin Rivera
Union County Sheriff James Lobb
Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil

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