NM Drug Reform Goes To Pot

NM Drug Reform Goes To Pot
Posted by FoM on March 18, 2001 at 07:59:04 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Dallas Morning News 
For nearly two years, Gov. Gary Johnson has spread his gospel of drug reform, calling the war on drugs a failure and urging New Mexico to become a laboratory for what he termed "harm reduction" policies.The Republican governor's crusade propelled him into the national spotlight  and into direct opposition with his own party.
But now, after two months of intense lobbying, late-night negotiations and heated debate, Mr. Johnson's most ambitious proposals to reform New Mexico's drug laws lay dead in the Capitol.The Legislature adjourned its 60-day session Saturday without legalizing the medical use of marijuana and decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Mr. Johnson, in a news conference after lawmakers broke for the year, said he was not "disheartened" by the outcome."Arguably, what happened during this session advanced a set of bills that have never advanced this far in any legislature in the country," he said."So on one hand, gosh, I wish a few more of them would have been heard or voted on and passed. On the other hand, as far as they went, they went a long way."Mr. Johnson, who admitted using marijuana and cocaine in his youth, is an avid athlete who doesn't drink alcohol or use drugs. He always prefaced his speeches about drugs with the disclaimer "drugs are bad."But he argues that the nation's current drug policies infringe on individual liberty, clog the criminal justice system with nonviolent drug offenders, and focus on incarceration rather than treatment.The news wasn't all bad for Mr. Johnson. Three of his "harm reduction" proposals were passed and await his signature.Those measures would allow police and others to administer a drug that can help prevent deaths from heroin overdoses; allow pharmacists to sell hypodermic needles without fear of criminal prosecution; and fund expanded drug treatment in New Mexico.Note: Legislature adjourns without approving governor's proposals.Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Published: March 18, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Dallas Morning News Address: P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, Texas 75265 Fax: (972) 263-0456 Contact: letterstoeditor Website: Feedback: Related Articles:What Passed, Failed During Session Bills Opposed by DAs
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on March 18, 2001 at 12:12:46 PT:
That was close ...We almost had a second legislature act in a rational manner and allow sick people to choose the right medicine.We almost had the state of my father, who used marijuana to improve his appetite as he lay dying from ALS - known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, show wisdom in helping suffering people.We almost had a dose of sanity from the people who are responsible for the misery of the drug war.We almost had a comment from the uninformed, unwashed electorate that needed a rebut ... but alas ...We almost really couldn't care about those who come here to gloat or prod ...Peace Neil, have no fear ... the day is coming ...
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Comment #1 posted by Neil on March 18, 2001 at 11:44:05 PT
Whew, that was close!
Money, power and fame. Governor Johnson has gotten all three. Money when he earned millions with his construction company, power when he was elected governor of New Mexico and fame when in his last term (so it wouldn't cost him anything) he spouted off about legalizing drugs. So, as a very goal-oriented person, he's gotten the three biggies, M,P&F. And he wipes his brow and lets out a sigh of relief that he doesn't have to take responsibility for the consequences of legalization of marijuana. He gets his fame but he conveniently doesn't have to actually take responsibility for having his voiced vision made into a reality. Johnson could have pushed it through, Johnson could have persuaded those that didn't to vote for it, Johnson could have succeeded. Johnson is ususally a winner and knows how to win and knows he could have won but he purposefully didn't. He didn't try any more than that amount which would give him fame but without the success and consequent responsibility that success would give that, deep in his heart, he doesn't want because he knows the instincts of the legislature and the instincts of the electorate (that wouldn't reelect him if given the chance) are correct and that they wisely understand that legalization would lead to more kids using drugs. Governor Johnson has money, power and fame. Good for him.
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