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 Apr 11 - 17, 2019 
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News on the Green

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On Cannabis Corrections Policy

NM Political Report digs into the implications of Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s signature on Senate Bill 406 for inmates of New Mexico jails and prisons. That Medical Marijuana Changes law states, “A person who is serving a period of probation or parole or who is in the custody or under the supervision of the state or a local government pending trial as part of a community supervision program shall not be penalized for conduct allowed under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.” New Mexico Corrections Department drug testing policy dating back to 1997 notes that “offenders [probationers, parolees] with a valid and current medical marijuana card” will not have positive test results reported to a court or parole board. This coverage cites bill sponsor Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino’s straightforward reading that, as it stands, state law only sanctions qualified patient access to medical cannabis “while they’re awaiting trial if they’re held.” Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez’s reading of the above-referenced state supervision clause is broader, noting auxiliary text advising that medical cannabis use “be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication.” Rodriguez summed up the logic neatly: “If medical cannabis is a sanctioned activity by the state, then it seems logical by public policy that these inmates would have reasonable access.”

AG Supports States’ Rights

As reported by Slate in “William Barr Accidentally Concedes His Reason for Withholding the Mueller Report Is Baloney,” US Attorney General William Barr said many noteworthy things on Wednesday during his two-hour testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. Beyond prescient precedent talk and lodging accusations of spying against Obama administration officials, Barr offered answers on pressing questions about national cannabis policy. Marijuana Moment coverage zeroes in on statements evidencing support for congressional legislation that lets states decide whether to legalize marijuana rather than the current approach, wherein an increasing number of states have ended cannabis prohibition in contrast to federal drug law. During questioning, Barr added that legislation that could accomplish that is presently being reviewed by the Justice Department. Barr also provided testimony that he has yet to examine the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, but that the bipartisan bill is being circulated internally through the Justice Department “for comment.” Barr noted, “Once we get those comments, we’ll be able to work with you on any concerns about the STATES law, but I would much rather that approach—the approach taken by the STATES Act—than where we currently are.”


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