Politico recently criticized New Mexico’s Democrats for passing on the recreational cannabis legalization bill, but apparently it was the same story all over the country. In many of the places where legalization proponents expected to see some sort of forward locomotion in 2019, all they found was a bunch of politicians butting heads over what many of us consider to be trivial points of contention.The piece highlighted failures to enact legalization laws in New York, New Jersey and The Land of Enchantment, and blamed them on Democrat-run legislatures negotiating over petty issues. In Illinois (where the attempt to legalize is still heading toward approval), detractors have taken issue with allowing people to grow cannabis in their homes. In New Jersey, where efforts stalled out this year, legislators were uncomfortable with a provision that would have expunged third-degree distribution convictions, covering up to five pounds of cannabis. All over the country, lawmakers have been arguing over equity issues—concerned with whether laws ensure business opportunities for women and minorities. Here in New Mexico, it seems we got hung up on specific protections for the medical industry and whether to have state-run recreational shops (a terrible idea).Here’s the thing: While these concerns are valid, they don’t come close to comparing with the physical threat posed to those living in places where marijuana is still illegal. Current cannabis laws put otherwise law-abiding citizens in the same category as hardened criminals and threaten public health by counterintuitively promoting black market activity. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to remind anyone of those points—most everybody knows already—but apparently our lawmakers have forgotten that this is more than an intellectual debate for some folks. That might be easy to do when you spend all your time in Santa Fe playing Go Fish over martinis, but we have to deal with this nonsense every day down here in the gutter.While it’s true that we shouldn’t go diving in willy nilly, our leaders have had more than enough time to figure out and implement a plan that would benefit most people. While they sit around hemming, hawwing and comparing donation receipts, their constituents are suffering from crime and government overreach. This year’s response to marijuana reform was a complete travesty, and I’ll probably continue raging about it for months. Fair warning.UNM Studies Cannabis for VeteransResearchers at the University of New Mexico are looking into how medical cannabis affects veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.According to KRQE, a team at UNM is monitoring real-time effects of cannabis on veterans experiencing anxiety and symptoms of PTSD. The study keeps track of veterans’ behaviors, feelings and everyday pain levels in relation to their participation in the state’s medical cannabis program. Researchers are using data gleaned from the Releaf App, but they say they need more participants. They’re asking interested veterans to contact UNM’s Department of Psychology.They hope to finish the study by the end of the summer.Strain CornerThis week found me in Nob Hill picking up a gram of Diesel Dough (THC: 19.23%, CBD: 0.06%—$14/gram) at Ultra Health Birdland (3213 Central Ave. NE). I should point out that I’m particularly partial to Diesel-derived strains and didn’t actually look at the rest of the menu after I spotted it.This hybrid was born from a cross between Sour Diesel and Do-Si-Dos, but the Diesel side stood out much more prominently. It smelled tart and pungent—the odor permeated my living room the moment I opened the bag. I packed a bowl and put on a “The Simpsons” rerun. The flower was dense and coated with trichomes.The first hit sent me into a snotty coughing fit the likes of which haven’t been seen since Half Baked, meaning it’s a great expectorant. I powered through three hits back to back and then wallowed on the couch cushions while hacking up half my lung. My wife stuck her head into the room, a concerned look on her face. I waved her away through streams of tears.The indica side came on quickly. I felt tension release behind my eyes and sinuses. My shoulders relaxed, and I laid back after getting my breath back. The edgy sativa sillies were creeping in around the corners, and I could feel the giggles catching in my throat. I pushed them aside with another couple hits and another spate of coughs. I felt energized, silly and relaxed. It was extremely pleasant, and I couldn’t stop smiling.My mood was definitely enhanced, but I don’t know if I’d recommend this strain for anyone planning to go out into public or talk to anybody at length. I was feeling pretty frazzled. It was difficult to follow the show, though I’d seen it a million times. It still seemed amusing as hell, though, and my confusion wasn’t alarming in the least. Diesel Dough is perfect for those suffering from depression or pain. Just make sure to stay home and refuse visitors.