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NM Blue Ribbon Panel Issues Drug Policy Report

Increased Emphasis on Treatment and Education, Alternatives to Incarceration Stressed

A state-wide poll in New Mexico shows "overwhelming support for decriminalizing marijuana and making 'medical marijuana' legal for certain patients, according to a report in The Santa Fe New Mexican. The results show:

  • 78 percent of registered NM voters support allowing medical marijuana
  • 65 percent support a proposal to make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction
  • 63 percent support a proposal to send people to drug treatment rather than prison for first and second offenses of possession of heroin or cocaine.

The full set of poll results can be found at this webpage.

Governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) appointed a Drug Policy Advisory Group in 2000 to examine drug policy in New Mexico, and also come up with policy ideas for the state.

The report was issued in January of 2001 (a PDF copy of the report can be downloaded directly by clicking here). The Advisory Group makes six recommendations:
  1. Develop and Implement a Comprehensive Drug, Crime, and Health Policy
  2. Implement Effective Prevention and Drug Education for Youth
  3. Make Effective Treatment Available on Request
  4. Implement Harm Reduction Policies and Programs
  5. Implement Criminal Justice Sentencing Reform
  6. Protect Fundamental Constitutional Rights of New Mexico Citizens

Several bills are being introduced as part of the Governor's drug policy reform moves. Governor Johnson has reached out to both sides of the aisle. The Albuquerque Journal reports ("Legislators to Offer Bills on Marijuana") that two of his bills on marijuana are being introduced in the legislature by lawmakers from both the major parties, one by a Democrat, one by a Republican.

Click here for more information on Governor Johnson's legislative package.

Governor Johnson and the panel's recommendations were the subject of a column by Arianna Huffington suggesting Governor be appointed the next Drug Czar ("Bush's Drug Czar: A Modest Proposal", Jan. 11, 2001).

Search the MAP news archive for stories on Governor Johnson, including this excellent profile by Matthew Miller, "He Just Said No To The Drug War" published in the New York Times Magazine in August 2000.

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copyright © 2001, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Kevin B. Zeese, President -- Mike Gray, Chairman -- Robert E. Field, Co-Chairman -- Melvin R. Allen, Director -- Doug McVay, Editor & Research Director
Updated: Thursday, 02-Jul-2009 06:25:21 PDT   ~   Accessed: 5855 times
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