The management of natural resources continues to figure heavily into New Mexico's economy. In particular, copper mining and the associated groundwater pollution generated by ore extraction activities at our state's three major mines continues to be an issue for environmentalists, state officials and citizens dependent on a sustainably clean source of drinking water in the desert. Late last month, representatives of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed a brief with the New Mexico Supreme Court asking that a controversial rule governing the way corporate mines operating in this state process the metal—leaving nearby aquifers polluted with chemicals and poisonous residues—be set aside. Since the rule went into effect over two years ago, opponents say the measure has allowed mine owners Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold to pollute areas surrounding their mines with impunity, violating New Mexico's Water Quality Act. Proponents of the Copper Rule, including the New Mexico Environment Department, say it's one of the most restrictive in the western United States and helps keep the mines running and contributing to the state economy. New Mexico's high court will hear the case before year's end.
No Cannabis for ADHD
The state board that oversees New Mexico's medical marijuana program unanimously rejected a specific medical condition from being added to the list of qualifying conditions when it met last Friday, Oct. 30 in Santa Fe. Board members decided that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should not be treated in New Mexico with medicinal cannabis. ADHD, as the condition is clinically known, is a common childhood disorder that sometimes continues through adolescent and adult years. Sufferers report a lack of focus, confusion, information processing difficulties and impulsive behavior as some of the symptoms of ADHD. Nationally 4.1% of adults suffer from some manifestation of the disorder, while researchers say up to 9% of American children, aged 13-18 are affected by ADHD. Now that the disorder has been dis-included from New Mexico's medical cannabis program, the results of research by the board—which led up to their decision—will be forwarded to NM Health Secretary Retta Ward for final review and implementation.
Police Visible After Shooting Death
Reacting to the needless death of one of their comrades—by a so-called “revolving door offender”—city police here in Albuquerque have been making their presence known to the community with a variety of activities meant to show support, pride and connection to the community they serve. One such event was held at Royal Car Wash this past weekend. Beat officers, detectives, police academy instructors and cadets came together in a highly visible setting to affirm their place in Albuquerque's cultural milieu. Funds from the car wash went to the family of slain Officer Daniel Webster. Webster died late last week of wounds sustained during an encounter with Davon Lymon, who has been subsequently charged with violations of federal firearms laws. Additional charges related to the shooting will soon be filed, according to Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. Three police officers in the metro area have been shot during traffic stops this year, two fatally. A memorial service for Webster was held at the Kiva Auditorium on Tuesday.