Writing for the Santa Fe New Mexican, capitol reporter Steve Terrell covers Rep. Javier Martínez’s (D-Albuquerque) introduction of House Bill 356, a cannabis regulation act, on Thursday, Jan. 24. HB 356 would essentially decriminalize recreational cannabis use for individuals 21 and older and establish a statewide licensing system for the taxation of recreational cannabis purchases.
As Terrell notes, supporters of House Bill 356 say the licensing system will favor small, local businesses while instituting a nine percent tax on all recreational cannabis purchases. That tax revenue is then slated to fund research and education, progressive community grants and youth drug education and prevention programs. HB 356 also makes provisions for local municipalities to opt out of allowing retail cannabis sales in their area.
Of equal importance, the bill includes legal remedies for those citizens whose cannabis arrests and convictions have negatively impacted their lives, families, careers and education. “HB 356 would automatically seal certain cannabis-related criminal records and allow for the possible recall or dismissal of the sentence for a person currently incarcerated for cannabis offenses that would no longer be violations under the new law,” says Terrell.
As reported by outlets ranging from TMZ to WaPo, CBS rejected Acreage Holdings’ 30-second commercial—wherein a child with epilepsy, a veteran and an opiate addict extoll the benefits of medical cannabis—for inclusion in this year’s Super Bowl ad-o-rama. Writing for The Stranger, Jeff Jardine wisely quipped: “CBS felt they didn't meet their high standards for not offending the hothouse-orchid, pearl-clutching viewers of a game where grown men inflict severe bodily harm on one another.”
In mainstream US culture, Super Bowl ads fuel water cooler talk and happy hour convo well into springtime. Especially when hosting Super Bowl LII, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium may well be the quintessential battlefield for American hearts and minds. As Jardine concludes, in part, “Cannabis use, including medical cannabis, is prohibited by the NFL, with repeat offenders facing penalties including expulsion from the league. … And it seems the NFL would also seem to prefer that 100 million viewers not be exposed to the idea of cannabis medicine either.”