Gov’s Marijuana Panel Recommendations Plus a Trump Prediction

After watching CNN for an hour last night, I have thoughts on our President who has evolved into King Lear. Recreational marijuana can’t come soon enough. Plus we offer a preview of the coming 2020 legislative session

Special Saturday, Oct 19, 8am-9am Pledge Week Edition of Retake Our Democracy with me (Paul) in studio moderating the Richard Wolff show from 8 am-8:30 am and offering observations on the state of the state throughout the regular 8:30 am-9 am hour. I’ll be commenting on the President’s continued disintegration, produced water, PNM and rumors of their plans for natural gas in four corners and a framework for a plan for NM’s just transition.

But the most important thing is that I am hoping a ton of you will call in with donations. Retake has a reputation for being among the very top in donations received and we want to keep that going. KSFR is invaluable to this community. If it isn’t just the jazz, classical, opera, country or rock or even the BBC, Democracy Now!, News Hour and Wake Up Call, Here and There. KSFR also keeps the focus on state and local issues and perspective with an endless number of shows on local state politics, culture, and art. While KSFR relies on volunteers, it also relies on you to keep the lights on, so right now, set up your alarm for Saturday at 8:30 and make a plan to call me at 428-1393, say hi and make a donation.

Retake Look at 2020 Legislative Session

Yesterday, we updated our Response Network web page, replacing the 2019 MUST PASS/Priority Bills with a preview of what is likely to come in the 2020 legislative session. This page will be updated as more and more information emerges on bills that are likely to be introduced. Click here to check out what might be coming.

You will also find a link on that page to an entirely updated report on the final outcome for every one of our 46 MUST PASS/Priority bills in 2019. We highlight the committees in which these bills died and suspect you will be astonished at the number of times you see the words “Senate Finance (Sen. John Arthur Smith, Chair).” Check it out.

King Lear Lives

Put the puppet’s hair on Lear and you’ve got Trump exactly.

I generally watch Democracy Now for news and CNN or MSNBC for election returns, rarely watching CNN or MSNBC other times, except for debates. But the set was still on CNN from the prior night’s debate, so last night I got sucked into the end of Chris Cuomo’s segment and then Don Lemon’s show that followed.

It was stunning how one report, interview or observation by panelists after another showed not just a growing impeachment inquiry, but a president who appears to have completely unraveled. King Lear anyone?

Frankly after about 75 minutes, it seemed to me that this presidency may not last the year. Between a totally impulsive, uninformed, and now tragic move in Turkey that has infuriated Republicans, and mounting evidence of corruption, the noose is tightening. Based upon reports from Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, the president became completely unhinged in a meeting with them. The meeting was supposed to be a briefing on the Syrian crisis, but devolved into a stream of inappropriate Trump insults until the Democrats just left. But that was only one report from last night:

  • By a 354-60 vote, with over 2/3 (129) of House Republicans voting with the Democrats, Congress delivered a stunning rebuke of the President’s abrupt pull out from the Syrian-Turkish border. This offers intriguing evidence that there are limits to what even the GOP will take from the President. The fortress is showing signs of cracks.
  • A letter from the President to Turkish President Erdogan was published that could have been written by a 5th grader with silly boastful language and a threat to destroy the Turkish economy, that closed with “don’t be dumb” and then “talk soon.” Commentator after commentator reported being incredulous it was actually a real letter as it was wrong in tone, substance and level of discourse. Bizarre. The letter led US foreign relations expert and University of Connecticut historian Brad Simpson to comment: “I am a historian of U.S. foreign policy. I have read many, many letters from U.S. Presidents to foreign leaders, and I have never read a letter from the U.S. President so unhinged, so threatening, so bizarre, so completely lacking in basic etiquette. Trump is deeply, deeply unwell.”
  • Staunch ally Sen. Lindsay Graham added: “this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making” and “the blood of our allies is on the President’s hands.” This report was followed by Republican after Republican blasting the President.
  • When questioned about the crisis Trump had caused in Syria, he replied: “It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there so there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.” Really? That is a response? From an adult? Seriously, the Lear reference may be too kind.
  • All of the above was then capped with Speaker Pelosi’s shaken appearance after leaving the White House and her comments that Trump was not dealing with reality and that she was very sincerely praying for his health.

My prediction: as the waters continue to rise, sometime before January Trump resigns in indignation, saying he is fed up with the witch hunt, blaming the Democrats for a coup that is a rebuke of the “landslide” of voters that impelled him into the presidency and Pence pardons him of all transgressions. And we will seethe. And the 2020 election changes in a very big way. What do you think? Where does this end?

Marijuana Panel Publishes Recommendations

It seems very clear that the Governor will put legalizing recreational marijuana on the call for the 2020 legislative session. Hopefully with a suggestion to Senate Floor Leader Peter Wirth to find a less treacherous path through Senate committees, bypassing Senate Finance and Sen. John Arthur Smith and Senate Corporations and Transportation and Sen. Clemente Sanchez.

The 16-page report called for New Mexico legalizing recreational marijuana and generating more than 13,000 new jobs, $850 million in annual sales and $100 million in annual revenue for state and local governments, not to mention providing New Mexicans with a needed medication for coping with the daily news.

The panel also incorporated an “equity” lens, recommending that all convictions for marijuana arrests be expunged and a number of other implementation strategies designed to promote local, small scale operations, including “microbrew” style licenses creating small, locally owned shops in all parts of the state. From the Governor:

“I want New Mexico’s introduction and management of recreational cannabis to be the envy of the country,” Grisham said in a June statement. “We can and will incorporate lessons learned from other states so that New Mexico provides for a well-regulated industry that, crucially, does not infringe on or harm our expanding medical cannabis program, upon which so many New Mexicans rely.”

Certainly sounds like recreational marijuana will be on the call with a clear signal from the Governor: “Get this done.”

In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne (and please tune in on Saturday at 8:30 and make a donation to KSFR.

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6 replies

  1. King Lear was unhinged by age, and in his final moments realized that he had caused the death of the only daughter who truly loved him. There isn’t a chance that Trump will recognize, much less regret, his betrayal of our valiant friends, the Kurds. I hope you are correct in predicting that he will be out in a matter of months. The Republicans who have enabled him to do so much damage in less than three years have blood on their hands too. The terrorists released from Kurdish jails will soon provide further reminders of what this president has launched with his impulsive tweets. The new Balance of Power in the Middle East? Stay tuned.

  2. Not convinced that Trump is mad. His language and temperament are wholly consistent with his past activity. He ups the volume a bit, so what? It got him to be where he is right now. With the impeachment “stuff”, (and let’s see IF that really happens), succeeding the Mueller fiasco, Trump realizes that he is in a fight to the death. (Impeachment is a POLITICAL act). The outrage and shock expressed by the defenders of the Empire is disingenuous, and frankly a bit morbid. That the U.S. withdraws from a war that Congress never approved in the first place goes against decades of imperial bipartisanship. It is even possible that what is happening in northern Syria was secretly “negotiated” between our government, Turkey, Russia, and Syria. The wild card, as I see it, is actually Erdogan. He is in a very difficult domestic situation. Combined with what could be delusions of grandeur, he might overstep. It would fall to the Russians to keep him in check. In any case, Russian diplomacy, specifically in the person of Lavrov, is multiple levels superior to what has been attempted by U.S. governments, from Bush Jr. through Obama to the current POS.

    Re: your prediction of Trump resigning. I don’t see it happening. Trump knows that if he leaves, either out of boredom or being forced out, the military-industrial-intelligence establishment, currently largely in the form of the establishment Democratic party, will put him behind bars. As mentioned above, this is all-out war, and somewhere in his lizard brain Trump knows that if he loses, his opponents will be hyper-vindictive. If only to set an example. The only possible path for Trump to quit would be a pre-arranged pardon by president Pence. This is what happened with Nixon. When the people close by saw him plastered much of the time, they pretty much gave him a deal he couldn’t refuse. If Trump starts talking to the presidential portraits, and if the video goes on uTube, I’ll change my mind. . .

  3. I have to agree that you do a terrible disservice to King Lear, a tragic figure of nobility and dignity, even if his ego blinded him to the true character of his daughters. Trump is a buffoon, not a clown who speaks truth to power.

  4. The Emperor Has No Clothes! The farce of a realty show president, should have never happened. Not many people were paying attention prior to 2016, and the denial continues. He has media outlets lying and propagandizing for him 24/7. Some of us knew he was scum back in the 1980″s. What really disgusts me is that our institutions have been so undermined that there was no protection from this. The mass media, tabloids and all of those pro business and Anti Democracy organizations promoted him.

    I have friends who won’t leave their homes or interact with people, because they feel disgust that anyone would vote for this ongoing nightmare. Neo liberalism brought us Trump and every disgusting and repugnant thing he represents. Not much attention was paid to how this nightmare unfurled here in New Mexico, in the years leading up to this. I had hoped that the people we voted for would have cleaned house or acknowledged the historical and generational damage done by the previous administration.

    It looks like they are starting to acknowledge the damage at our Border. This has become a juggernaut under Trump’s racist policies, but our local politicians were in denial about it all prior to Dumpf.

    The Marijuana Panel, deliberately left out discussions of marketing, since the FTC and FDA are no longer functioning at any level, especially with marijuana and CBD. Marketers have taken advantage of the lax enforcement of health marketing laws, and the refusal of the FTC, or FDA to regulate even the post pernicious deceptive health marketing, like that engaged in by JUUL.

    The marijuana industry is promoting it as a “wellness product” Most of our legislators have no science background at all, and the same with journalists. Personally I think that marijuana should be legalized, it never should have been criminalized. That is not enough for the industry though, they want to expand their market. The fact that the marijuana industry over hypes scientific findings, while misreporting science should not effect legalization.

    More about the “Produced Water”

    “Last year, records show more than 42 billion gallons of produced water were generated, high in brine and toxic for human consumption.”

    The words “Toxic For Human Consumption” ought to be a serious consideration. Of course if it is toxic to humans, it is too saline to use for agriculture. Salt concentrations in soils, from irrigation is a serious problem.

    ” Salt-induced land degradation is common in arid and semi-arid regions where rainfall is too low to maintain a regular percolation of rainwater through the soil and irrigation is practiced without a natural or artificial drainage system. Such irrigation practices without drainage management trigger the accumulation of salts in the root zone, affecting several soil properties and crop productivity negatively.”

    The Oil and Gas Industry changed the conversation from, where are they getting all of that fresh water, and what are they doing with the fracking waste, to “greening of the desert.” It is not a liability or a limitation anymore in the minds of our alternate fact politicians, it is a resource. If there was any water out there in the Permian Basin, there would be farms. Over the last century farms dried up as the aquifer gave out.

    In Wyoming they presented this “produced water” as “beneficial” for wildlife. The industry will go to any lengths to mislead the general public and fact resistant politicians.

  5. If he leaves office before 2025, he is subject to criminal charges in NY. I think he takes his chances in the US Senate. Who today would be the Senator Barry Goldwater telling .45 his time is up? And why would he listen now?

  6. While I’m in favor of marijuana legalization, the cannabis industry is just one more plastic polluter, over-packaging its products in non-recyclable plastic containers and single-use disposable cartridges. If the governor wants the management of recreational cannabis in NM to be the envy of the country, she’d better insure the industry is clean and green to the very end with recyclable packaging that won’t live in NM landfills forever. That would be one way to really take the lead.

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