New Mexico Medical Marijuana Vote Critical - Your Help Needed


New Member
It's with a heavy heart that I must tell you that on Thursday night, our medical marijuana bill, SB 238, failed to pass the New Mexico House of Representatives. During a three hour debate, unfriendly amendments were voted down with excellent margins. The first vote on the bill, however, failed by a vote of 33 to 33. Incredibly, one of our biggest supporters rushed into the House chamber and missed this vote by only one or two seconds. The House members then voted to reconsider the vote because that member was missing.

That's when things went terribly wrong. In the second vote, two House Democrats switched their votes from yes to no. Two Republicans, who were out of the room during the first vote, returned for the second and voted no. Despite the addition of two other yes votes, the final vote was 33-36.

I am disappointed by the House floor vote, but I am not giving up! Why? We still have eight days left in the session, and there is incredible political will to pass this bill. The Senate and Governor Richardson have pledged their support for seriously ill patients. And we will be pursuing several options in the next few days. This issue won't die with this unfortunate vote.

Now, more than ever, we need to mobilize every person that wants to make New Mexico a compassionate state. The other side has been calling those who voted "no" and thanking them. We need to counter those calls and let each member of the House of Representatives know how important this issue is to New Mexicans.

Now is the time to act. Please make this your priority this weekend. We could have the issue reconsidered as soon as Sunday.

Please send an email to as many members as possible and either let them know how disappointed you are that they did not stand up for patients' rights in New Mexico, or thank them for their support of SB 238 on the House floor. Let's start with those who voted "no" and turn them into "yes"!

Democrats Voting No:

Andrew Barreras (Tome)
(505) 986-4243

Ernesto Chavez (Albuquerque)

Mary Helen Garcia (Las Cruces)

Thomas Garcia (Ocate)

John Heaton (Carlsbad)

Manuel Herrera (Bayard)
(505) 986-4233

Dona Irwin (Deming)

Rhonda King (Stanley)
(505) 986-4438

Ben Lujan (Santa Fe)

Patricia Lundstrom (Gallup)

James Roger Madalena (Jemez Pueblo)

Rick Miera (Albuquerque)

Andy Nunez (Hatch)

Debbie Rodella (Ohkay Owingeh)

Nick Salazar (Ohkay Owingeh)

Richard Vigil (Ribera)

Republicans Voting No:

Thomas Anderson (Albuquerque)

Janice Arnold-Jones (Albuquerque)

Paul Bandy (Aztec)

Richard Berry

Richard Bratton (Hobbs)

Anna Crook (Clovis)

Nora Espinoza (Roswell)

Candy Spence Ezzell (Roswell)

William Gray (Artesia)

Jimmie Hall (Albuquerque)

Dianne Miller Hamilton (Silver City)

Larry Larranaga (Albuquerque)

Jane Powdrell-Culbert (Corrales)

Bill Rehm (Albuquerque)

James Strickler (Farmington)

Thomas Taylor (Farmington)

Don Tripp (Socorro)

Shirley Tyler (Lovington)

Gloria Vaughn (Alamogordo)
(505) 986-4453

Jeannette Wallace (Los Alamos)

Teresa Zanetti (Albuquerque)

Democrats Voting Yes:

Elias Barela (Belen)

Ray Begaye (Shiprock)

Jose Campos (Santa Rosa)

Joseph Cervantes (Las Cruces)

Gail Chasey (Albuquerque)

Nathan Cote (Las Cruces)

Miguel Garcia (Albuquerque)

Robert "Bobby" Gonzales (Taos)

Joni Marie Gutierrez (Las Cruces)

Irvin Harrison (Gallup)

Antonio Lujan (Las Cruces)

Antonio "Moe" Maestas (Albuquerque)

Ken Martinez (Grants)

Al Park (Albuquerque)

Danice Picraux (Albuquerque)

Henry "Kiki" Saavedra (Albuquerque)
(505) 986-4316

Edward Sandoval (Albuquerque)

Daniel Silva (Albuquerque)
(505) 986-4425

Sheryl Williams Stapleton (Albuquerque)

Jeff Steinborn (Las Cruces)

Mimi Stewart (Albuquerque)

Thomas Swisstack (Rio Rancho)

Jim Trujillo (Santa Fe)

Luciano "Lucky" Varela (Santa Fe)
(505) 986-4318

Peter Wirth (Santa Fe)

Republicans voting yes:

Daniel Foley (Roswell)

Justine Fox Young (Albuquerque)

Keith Gardner (Roswell)

Kathy McCoy (Cedar Crest)

Brian Moore (Clayton)

W.C. "Dub" Williams (Glencoe)
(505) 986-4454

Eric Youngberg (Corrales)

Democrats Not Voting:

George Hanosh (Grants)
(505) 986-4243

Tips on writing an email

Legislators receive hundreds of emails a day, so you need to make yours stand out.

* Be courteous, positive, and brief.
* Put important information in the subject line. For example, "Thank you for supporting SB 238, medical marijuana legislation" or "I wish you would have supported SB238"
* Identify yourself and mention if you are a constituent.
* Ask your legislator to support SB 238, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, during the House floor vote.
* Feel free to briefly tell them why you personally support the bills.

In Brief

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act would allow qualified patients suffering from certain serious illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy to use marijuana for relief from their symptoms. Feel free to refer to our fact sheet or talking points before you call or write the email.

Thanks so much for calling - and please feel free to forward this information to other individuals and email lists that might be interested. The more voices that speak up for the bill, the more likely it will become law. If you have any questions please call us at (505) 983-3277.

Thank you for your commitment to reform in New Mexico. Your dedication is truly amazing and greatly appreciated. We can't get discouraged now, without your involvement and support, success wouldn't be possible!

Reena Szczepanski
Drug Policy Alliance Network
Improve New Mexico

Learn More About the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act would allow qualified patients suffering from certain serious illnesses - such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and epilepsy - to use marijuana for relief of their symptoms. The law would require a patient to receive a recommendation for cannabis (i.e., medical marijuana) from his/her medical provider. The patient could then apply to participate in the program through the Department of Health, and an independent review board of doctors would consider each application.

Upon approval by the board, the patient would receive a registry identification card from the New Mexico Department of Health, certifying that he/she was a participant in the Lynn and Erin program. By registering in this way, the patient and the patient's primary caregiver would be allowed to possess only enough cannabis to treat the patient. Only providers who already can prescribe controlled substances could recommend patients for the program. The Department of Health will develop regulations for licensed producers within the state, identifying standards for safety, security, and distribution.

The new law would not allow medical marijuana use in public, and would penalize lying to a law enforcement officer regarding the medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health would keep a registry of participants so that law enforcement officers could confirm the validity of a patient's registration card. Patients under 18 years old could only participate with parental consent.

Source: Drug Policy Alliance
Copyright: 2007 Drug Policy Alliance
Website: Drug Policy Alliance


Well-Known Member
Read this depressing news earlier today..

Next time NM.. :peace:


Well-Known Member
Woke up this morning and read this..

Medical marijuana: Governor's wrangling revives measure

By Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
March 11, 2007

Senate passes resurrected bill, which now heads to the House

The state Senate on Saturday resurrected the medical marijuana issue, passing a new bill allowing people suffering certain serious medical conditions to smoke cannabis to treat their symptoms.

The action came two days after the House voted 37-32 to defeat the original bill (Senate Bill 238).

But on Saturday, the Senate voted 32-3 to pass Senate Bill 523, which now goes to the House.

Gov. Bill Richardson told The Associated Press on Friday that he had talked to several Democrats who had voted against that bill in an effort to get them to change their minds. He also said he planned to talk with House Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambé. Luján is a Richardson ally but an opponent of medical marijuana.

SB 523, sponsored by Sen. Shannon Robinson, D-Albuquerque, originally pertained only to topical uses of cannabis, such as ointments and patches. But Robinson agreed to submit a substitute bill that incorporated the provisions of the bill that was defeated in the House.

Sen. Carol Leavell, R-Jal, one of three to vote against Robinson's bill, said, "We're sending a very poor, poor message to our citizens."

Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, a vocal proponent of medical marijuana, expressed frustration with opponents of the issue, including members of his own party in the House, some of whom, he said, deliberately confused the medical marijuana proposal with decriminalizing marijuana for everyone.

"This is a 30-page bill with strict controls, and (opponents) say that sends the wrong signal?" Adair asked. "The signal (opponents) send is that you don't understand the bill."

Adair noted that the medical marijuana program contained in the bill applies to only about 150 to 175 people statewide.

For the past seven years, drug-law reform advocates have been trying to get the Legislature to adopt a medical marijuana program. The Senate has passed such bills several times, only to see the legislation die in the House.

In 1978, the Legislature passed a medical marijuana research project at the urging of Lynn Pierson, a cancer patient who died before the bill went into effect. That bill had a "sunset clause," which means it expired several years ago.

Contact Steve Terrell at 986-3037 or


Well-Known Member
I was just going to bed and read this..

House approves medical marijuana bill

Last Update: 03/13/2007
By: Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) - A bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana has passed the House.

The 36-31 vote was a turnaround from last week when the House narrowly rejected a similar proposal.

Gov. Bill Richardson supports the legislation, which is nearing final approval in the Legislature.

The bill returns to the Senate for consideration of an amendment added by the House. The Senate has twice approved a medical marijuana bill this session.

The proposal would allow the use of marijuana for pain or other symptoms of debilitating illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDS and certain spinal cord injuries.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Well-Known Member
Sunday morning and I read this:

Lawmakers take on smoking, medical marijuana

Santa Fe New Mexican, The (KRT) - Mar. 18, 2007

Mar. 18--Lawmakers weren't just blowing smoke at the Roundhouse this year.

They passed an indoor smoking ban for the entire state, while in a separate measure approved medical marijuana after years of snubbing it.

Though it might sound contradictory to applaud both measures in one breath, there will be restrictions on where people can fire up their joints.

Once Gov. Bill Richardson signs the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, patients will carry an identification card issued by the Health Department.

However, that doesn't give them carte blancheprotection. Though the state law would legalize medical marijuana, a "certified patient" still could be arrested for driving while under the influence of marijuana or using the drug in a school bus or on school grounds, at work, in a public park or in recreation areas.

While Richardson pushed hard for lawmakers to finally pass the pot bill, he waffled on the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans tobacco smoking inside most public places. Health advocates got wind of a Richardson media release that hinted he was wavering on the bill and rallied at the Roundhouse the next day,persuading him to sign it.

Medical marijuana

The passage of medical marijuana legislation took the Health Department by surprise.

"We hadn't really anticipated that this bill would necessarily pass. This bill was first introduced in 2001," said Dr. Steve Jenison, the Health Department's medical director for infectious diseases. "We didn't necessarily think that this year was the year."

Many important details about how theprogram will work remain unclear. For instance, who will grow, sell and distribute it? How much will it cost?

By Oct. 1, the Health Department would be expected to establish rules for the program, create identification cards for patients and caregivers, decide how it will license marijuana production facilities in the state, develop a distribution system and appoint an eight-member advisory board.

In Rhode Island, the 11th state to enact a medical marijuana law, patients are left to their own devices to obtain the drug.

But in New Mexico, patients could not grow it or buy it from drug dealers.

In Colorado, the Health Department's only role is to maintain a confidential registry of patients and caregivers -- and share information with police as needed. In New Mexico, the Health Department would play a much larger part.

Even in states that have medical marijuana laws, growing, distributing or using it remains illegal under federal law.

Two doctors who treat cancer patients and one who treats AIDS patients in New Mexico said medical marijuana is no longer a pressing need because better treatments and new pain and anti-nausea drugs have been developed over the past 10 years.

But Jenison argues it's important to have marijuana as an option to alleviate suffering.

"I'm glad that there are a lot of new medications that are available to handle problems with nausea and (extreme weight loss) from chemotherapy or from cancer or from HIV/AIDS. ? But I also can speak from the perspective of someone who has been caring for people with HIV and AIDS since 1981," he said.

Jenison said he has had patients who have been so emaciated that they are at high risk for dying.

After they tried marijuana, he said, they began to gain weight.

"The more arrows we have in our quiver for alleviating human suffering, the better," Jenison said. "We use morphine and OxyContin a lot. Are those drugs problematic? You bet."

According to the bill, an estimated 150 to 175 people statewide could get a doctor's recommendation for marijuana.

Patients must have cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, certain spinal-cord injuries or another Health Department-approved condition

HPV vaccine

The legislature approved a somewhat controversial bill that would introduce the human papillomavirus vaccine to girls entering the sixth grade at public and private schools. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection, which can cause cervical cancer and other problems.

Some parents question this proposed approach, and others question the safety of the new vaccine. Also, the rates of cervical cancer, which the HPV vaccine is intended to prevent, are low here.

"Cervical cancer rates in New Mexico are already quite low, and the reason for that is that we have put in place a very effective Pap smear screening program.

And we know that Pap smear screening will prevent most women who have the precancerous changes of cervical dysplasia from developing invasive cervical cancer," Jenison said.

But he argues, if you don't put in place a strategy for making the HPV vaccine available to people without health care access, you haven't accomplished anything with the new vaccine.

It's about more than just reducing cancer. Reducing abnormal Pap smears is a "clear benefit," he argues, because it can reduce costs and prevent patients from undergoing painful surgical procedures on their cervix.

"I'm a public health doc, so I alwaysthink of prevention," Jenison said.

The Legislature appropriated nearly $1 million to help pay for the three-series shots. The measure, which awaits the governor's signature, would require girls entering sixth grade this fall to read information about the vaccine with their parents and check a box saying whether they want to get it or not. The opt-out feature is much easier than for other vaccinations for students.

"In my mind, it's not so much a school-entry requirement for the vaccine as it is a school-entry requirement for having been given the option of having the vaccine," he said. "And I think that's an important distinction."

This approach makes getting access to the information and the vaccine more uniform, he said. Huge clinical trials were conducted on the vaccine with "compelling" results, especially for girls who hadn't had sex yet, Jenison said.

"It will actually be a New Mexico Department of Health document that will, in detail, outline the potential benefits of the vaccine, the potential shortcomings of the vaccine and the potential adverse reactions associated with the vaccine," he said of the educational materials. It's unclear how long the vaccine will protect the girl. The clinical trial data covered only three to five years, he said.

"If you are already infected, it cannot make your infection go away, and it cannot cause any abnormalities of your cervix that are caused by that HPV type to go away," Jenison said.

Originally, the Health Department planned to target outreach to fifth-graders and make participation voluntary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends girls age 11 to 12 receive a three-dose series of the HPV vaccine.

"We will -- I hope, I think -- give a very balanced view of the vaccine and ultimately say to the people, ?This is yourchoice,' " Jenison said.
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