A local push to legalize recreational cannabis is making noise at full volume during this odd-numbered year's half-sized 30-day New Mexico legislative session. A joint guest editorial written by two Las Cruces City Councilors was just published by local daily newspaper the Albuquerque Journal. In an opinion piece titled “It's time to end failed war on cannabis,” Las Cruces City Councilors Gabe Vasquez and Johana Bencomo outline the state of New Mexico's historical failure to catch up with its Western neighbors' “economies and progressive policies that have made our neighboring states more prosperous and better able to provide the basic services, infrastructure and quality of life that people deserve.” In the editorial Vasquez and Bencomo cite strong pro-legalization polling numbers in the state and the potential for numerous societal benefits ranging from the environmental to the economic. The authors emphasize the war on cannabis' disproportionate negative impact on communities of color, both locally and across the nation, and applaud the opportunity for restorative justice, including the expungement of “low-level” possession charges as well as commending the forethought and planning brought to the proceedings by the work and outreach of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's legalization legislation working group. According to Vasquez and Bencomo, “mañana is here, and new elected leaders that reflect a changing New Mexico are ready to drive that change. The time is now to legalize cannabis.”
Since Weekly Alibi's Cannabis Manual-and its included coverage of terpenes, phytocannabinoids and the entourage effect-is hitting newsstands as I type, it would be an oversight not to mention a certain editorial by comedian and commentator Ngaio Bealum, who hosts the Netflix series Cooking on High, which was published earlier today by Leafly. “Let us smell the legal cannabis for sale, dammit!” finds Bealum delivering a paean to “follow[ing] your nose,” which he describes as “rule number one for finding good weed.” And he is right. As fans or followers of terpenes already know and Bealum notes: “This isn't just emotions talking. This is science. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give cannabis its flavors and effects. Different terpenes have different aromas.” In practice, any attempt to regulate the pre-purchase sniffing of cannabis sounds like something of a regulatory nightmare, considering the standards of health departments alongside corporate operating policies. And even if all those obstacles could be surmounted, wouldn't we still be opening up a Pandora's cannabis sniffing sample box of dispensary discounts similar to those for day-old bread? Read Bealum's editorial and check out our terpene coverage in the latest Cannabis Manual.