Sep 102014
 September 10, 2014

albuqerque marijuanaMarijuana decriminalization was recently passed by the Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council. Rather than arrest people and jail people for marijuana possession, people will now be fined $25 for possessing personal amounts of marijuana. A similar proposal was supposed to be on the ballot in Albuquerque, New Mexico this November. The Albuquerque City Council voted to put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide the issue.

Unfortunately, the mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, decided that the democratic process wasn’t good enough and blocked the measure from being on the ballot. Per KOAT:

“I have carefully considered and have exercised my veto authority on R-14-91, which passed at the City Council meeting of August 18, 2014 by a vote of 5 For and 4 Against. Per the City Charter I do not have the ability to veto only portions of the resolution; therefore I have vetoed it in its entirety.

It is disappointing that I have been put into a position to have to veto an entire bill that includes a number of provisions that I support simply because certain members of the City Council voted to include last minute provisions that lack detail and/or circumvent state and federal law.

While I am supportive of the bill as originally drafted, and fully support sending many of the measures to voters for their consideration, I cannot in good conscience sign a bill that would impose a tax increase on the people of Albuquerque without any specific plan as to how the taxpayer resources would be spent or a bill that flies in the face of state and federal law as it pertains to illegal drugs.”

It’s pretty despicable that a mayor of any city would rather impose their own personal beliefs on their city’s residents than respect the will of the voters. My first question is when is this guy up for re-election? He clearly needs to be voted out. If the voters voted ‘no’ on Election Day, than so be it. But to say that decriminalization needs to be blocked because of the weak, unfounded ‘it is illegal federally’ argument is s slap in the face to democracy.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference

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  22 Responses to “Albuquerque Mayor Blocks Marijuana Decriminalization From The Ballot”

  1.  

    While I understand your disappointment, he has a point. I want marijuana decriminalized, legalized, pot in the pockets of those who want it..everyone enjoying it and having a respectful time. However, the process of approval here looks like it meant accepting conditions that were not in the original copy. He said he supported it until the city council added things to it thus altering the original intent or purpose. Sadly, this is how our legislative process is. It sucks but it’s how it is. The goal is to keep pressing, keep trying to get it through. It won’t be long until it’s legal everywhere and the feds won’t have any other choice but to recognize this and make changes to the drug schedule. All of this is Nixon’s doing…paranoid dumbass.. LOL! Btw, thank you for your work here. I appreciate it. :-)

    •  

      Congratulations, you actually read AND understood the mayoral statement explaining why he didn’t sign it. His political affiliation isn’t an issue in this instance, it’s the fault of the city council for attempting to slide through a tax hike that would have raised money for, apparently, whatever they wanted to do with it. In this instance it was a good call on his part. Maybe the council got the message that attempting to dupe tax payers into paying more for nothing in particular won’t make the cut.

      •  

        I believe one of the issues included was an increase in sales tax to fund mental health facilities — the facilities (and a whole system) destroyed by Governor Martinez not too long ago.

        So, when Mayor Barry is talking about the marijuana decriminalization issue, he’s not talking about an increase in taxes — or the lack of a plan on where to spend them when collected.

        See what happens when you comment on issues you haven’t fully researched yet?

  2.  

    He’s a Republican.

    •  

      As are most “Democrats,” but especially in New Mexico.

      •  

        No, most Democrats are not the same as Republicans. In fact, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is now the biggest on the hill, bigger than the tea party. Many of those progressives are for outright legalization. All of them are for rescheduling and decriminalization.

        70% of Democrats in DC voted against renewing the Patriot Act. Only 14% of Republicans did.

        94% of Democrats voted to keep the DEA out of state medicinal programs, only 20% of Republicans did.

        I could go on if you care to hear the truth about how if you want to lessen or eliminate idiotic drug laws, you should vote for progressives.

        In fact, in New Mexico specifically, there’s one Democrat who could use our help by, at the very least, not calling him a Republican.

        http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_25115836/marijuana-legislation-stalls-senate-committee

        > Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the measure, said he saw little chance of the issue being revived this session because it’s unlikely any committee members would change their votes before the Legislature adjourns late next week.

        […]

        > Four Republicans on the committee opposed the measure and were joined by Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez of Grants. Five Democratic senators supported the measure.

        So, as you can see, on this committee that killed this proposed legislation, “most” democrats (4 out of 5) voted for it, and NO Republicans did.

        •  

          Since I am aware of the good work that Senator Ortiz y Pino has done and continues to do, I made sure to use the word “most,” not “all,” when making my generalization.

          But just because the right wing has pulled all of America politics to the right, that doesn’t mean a Democrat can rightfully call themselves a Democrat — especially if they are not progressive. Politicians change parties these days at the drop of a hat, but it is not the label that someone gives themselves that defines their politics — it’s where they stand on each and every issue.

          •  

            “I made sure to use the word “most,” not “all,” ”

            And I’m still saying your wrong. Most Democrats are not like Republicans. Some are more like Republicans than others, but, for instance, 94% of Democrats in the House voted to keep the DEA out of state medicinal programs, and only 12% of Republicans did.

            Even in this case, MOST of the Dems voted the right way.

          •  

            C’mon, dude, they are basically one party — the Corporatists — bought by the same donors, including Big Pharma, and the rehab, law enforcement, and prison industries.

            I mean, do you think Rahm Emanuel is a Democrat?

            Or how about this example:

            “Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat, proclaimed that users of heroin were not being punished severely enough.”

            I don’t think we would be in the mess we’re in now if MOST Democrats voted the right way.

          •  

            The GOP is monolithic. The Democrats are not. The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest on the hill–bigger than the tea party caucus. And you give me Rahm Emannuel and Ed Fitzgerald as examples to prove “most” democrats are the same as Republicans? Seriously?

            I’ll bet you $100 if you list every elected Democrat in the country, that more than half of them agree with us about weed. Loser pays winner’s charity.

            “I don’t think we would be in the mess we’re in now if MOST Democrats voted the right way.”

            You might have a point if there were no Republicans. To blame Democrats for all of it is just ignorant.

            But, here, let me make my point a better way… Considering that 94% of Democrats voted in the US House to keep the DEA out of state medicinal programs, and only 14% of Republicans did, which party should you give the most shit for being the problem?

            94%, And you think 6% is most?

            “the Corporatists”

            Do you even know who the Progressives are? Look up the Congressional Progress Caucus. They want money out of politics. They are the ONLY non-corporatists. Saying they are like people they are not like just shows that you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

          •  

            You know, Governor Martinez began her political life as an alleged Democrat — until she wanted to become Governor (and figured out which political party in New Mexico had the money)… then she became a Republican. Seems her husband “converted” her — the story she tells about her enlightenment is hilarious; you should look it up.

            Of course I’m familiar with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and I know they are a group that’s in the minority in Congress. If most Democrats were progressive, then this Caucus would be large enough to constitute some kind of majority.

            Why do you keep going on and on about that one vote in the House? You act like voting to keep the DEA out of medical cannabis programs in the states is some sort of great and wonderful thing. The DEA is so out of control that anyone not working to dramatically defund — if not disband — this agency cannot be considered progressive.

            And, shall we make a list of all the votes in the House that didn’t result in any action? Sure, you can blame one side (or the other) for the lack of results — as long as “compromise” is a dirty word, things won’t change. The problem with compromising is that Democrats do most of it — part of the reason the whole political system has skewed so far to the right.

            As for the blame game — it seems like that’s the only game in town. Doesn’t really help us to move forward, though, does it? Anyway, when it comes to the state of our politics, there’s enough blame to go around for everyone — so why narrow it down to one party or the other? (That is, when you can decipher which party a politician actually belongs to.)

          •  

            “Congressional Progressive Caucus, and I know they are a group that’s in the minority in Congress. ”

            But they’re the majority of the Democrats in the House–so, “most” Democrats in the House are not stealth Republicans. And even Blue dogs and non-progressive Senators who are Democrats vote quite a bit differently on most issues than Republicans. This is an easily verifiable fact.

            Again, my only quibble with what you said is that “most” Democrats are not Republicans. The corporate dems share some traits, sure, but not all Dems are corporate, and not all corporate Dems are exactly like Republicans. Especially on the issue of pot.

            “If most Democrats were progressive, then this Caucus would be large enough to constitute some kind of majority.”

            The CPC is the largest caucus on the hill. We’re not going to make them bigger by saying ‘most’ Democrats are just Republicans. But, further, before the GOP took back the House (because liberals didn’t vote in 2010, partly because of the myth that both parties are the same), half of all house committees were chaired by members of the CPC.

            We just have to elect more progressives, and going around saying there’s no point in that, because both parties are the same, sure isn’t going to help.

            “Why do you keep going on and on about that one vote in the House?”

            Because it shows that even conservative Democrats will vote the opposite way of the vast majority of Republicans… another data point that proves that “most” Democrats are not just like Republicans.

            “You act like voting to keep the DEA out of medical cannabis programs in the states is some sort of great and wonderful thing.”

            It is! Bending the long arc of the moral universe toward justice one step at a time.

            “The DEA is so out of control that anyone not working to dramatically defund — if not disband — this agency cannot be considered progressive.”

            Hyperbole isn’t going to get us anywhere. There are a lot of hippie punchers out there, even in districts represented by progressives, and we do want our people getting re-elected.

            “shall we make a list of all the votes in the House that didn’t result in any action?”

            Absolutely! And it will show that the vast majority of Republicans are against us, and the vast majority of Democrats are with us.

            “s long as “compromise” is a dirty word, things won’t change”

            I don’t want my side to compromise with the GOP’s anti-weed positions. I want them to compromise with me. And some of them did on this DEA vote (and on the banking law for pot shops). But things can change without compromise if we put the CPC in charge of the House.

            “The problem with compromising is that Democrats do most of it — part of the reason the whole political system has skewed so far to the right.”

            You got that right. That’s why I don’t want to compromise anymore. I want to win elections.

            “As for the blame game — it seems like that’s the only game in town. Doesn’t really help us to move forward”

            If putting the blame where it belongs–on the Republicans–gets more progressives elected, then yes, it does help us to move forward. For example, I could say to the people in the vast majority of Republican districts that their representatives are against ending the drug war, and I’d be right. I’d be blaming the GOP, which deserves the blame, and I’d be pointing out to those people that if they want to end the drug war, they should stop voting for Republicans.

            “Anyway, when it comes to the state of our politics, there’s enough blame to go around for everyone — so why narrow it down to one party or the other?”

            Because one party is more responsible for perpetuating the drug war than the other. If we’re going to play the odds, which we should, we should vote for the people most likely to do what we want, or, barring that choice, the people least likely to do what we don’t want.

  3.  

    An African American politician still fighting the drug war? Just like…

  4.  

    Dude, read the mayoral statement again. He didn’t sign it because the city council sent him a bill that would have increased taxes on city residents, but with absolutely no explanation about how that money would be used. Giving a politician, any politician, a blank checkbook is plain foolish.
    I was it decriminalized too, but not if it means paying more in taxes for no apparent reason.

    •  

      See, I don’t understand… I showed you how wrong you were in your post below, and yet you are still pretending to know what you are talking about.

      Dude… Denny… Why are you making cannabis lovers appear ignorant? Are you so against taxes that you are compelled to spread misinformation?

  5.  

    And im not affiliated with any police officer or police business..think thats important to state.

  6.  

    guess i was inappropriate as my post was deleted. im sorry

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