These letters published in the Dec. 12 2021 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News. A portion of Carrie Hamblen’s column also appeared as a letter to the editor in the print edition.
Just say no to cannabis as Schedule I drug
President Biden and Congress have many pressing issues before them, but this administration like those which have preceded it since 1970 continue to perpetuate the absurd and heinous policy of classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug.
One of the main reasons for classifying it at the top of the narcotics schedule is the federal government’s contention that marijuana has NO medical benefits and is among drugs (LSD, Ecstasy, peyote and heroin) with the greatest potential for abuse. Among drugs considered a lower risk (Schedule II) are the recent headline-grabbing and deadly narcotics: methamphetamine and fentanyl! This makes a mockery of the federal government’s drug classification system.
The FDA and DEA run roughshod over the pot issue, perpetuating federal laws that conflict with state laws and hinder legitimate research into the medical benefits of cannabis. Thirty-six states, including New Mexico, have legalized medical marijuana, touting the drug’s many healing benefits in treating epilepsy, autism and other ailments. New Mexico, too, is among 15 states that have legalized the sale and consumption of cannabis, and in many cases, enacted legislation to expunge criminal records for pot “crimes” that have disproportionately impacted people of color for decades.
What is driving this continued, antiquated abuse of federal power that lacks any credibility whatsoever? How many people have you heard of or read about who died from a marijuana overdose? Zero. How about those dying from Schedule II drug fentanyl or engaged in a ruinous meth-using lifestyle? Tens of thousands!
It’s time for this administration to end this shameless, sham classification of cannabis. Last December, the House passed bipartisan legislation to do just that but the Senate never did. Biden says he supports decriminalization, but not federally legalizing pot. The War on Drugs is over. We lost. Just say ‘No’ to this laughable system.
Rob McCorkle, Las Cruces
Calling the kettle black?
I was surprised that NM Rep. Greg Nibert had the nerve to write the op-ed column published in the Dec. 5 Sun-News. Rep. Nibert had a great deal to say about loyalty to a single person, governor Lujan Grisham, as opposed to constitutional principles. My mother used to call this the pot calling the kettle black.
Rep. Nibert descends to truly stygian depths with his tirade against the governor. He somehow seems to have ignored the irony of his argument. I quote from his column: “…there are even greater dangers to our fragile self-governance when one of the branches of government places greater importance on party loyalty than upholding the constitution they were sworn to uphold.”
I would remind him and his Republican followers of the events of Jan. 6 this year when, in blind obedience to the lies of an individual, Donald Trump, a mob attempted to undermine a duly held election in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. My mother, in her wisdom, also said people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. I suggest Rep. Nibert might consider this advice in the future.
Steve McLary, Las Cruces
Recent op/ed articles published in this newspaper by elected GOP members express delight in legal challenges to Gov. Lujan Grisham utilizing federal funds in New Mexico to mitigate COVID-19 illnesses and deaths, vindicating their views with a dubious nexus that emergency public health measures are tantamount to abuse of the state constitution.
However, every single GOP opinion fails to address the appalling fact that more than 325,000 New Mexicans have contracted COVID-19 with more than 5,400 fellow citizen deaths; an inconvenient truth.
Failing to address those metrics — including predictable public health disease spread based on scientific data — enables and facilitates the reckless GOP message that New Mexicans don’t need to wear masks to mitigate COVID-19 disease spread, vaccines aren’t necessary or that we don’t need public health guidance from the governor’s administration.
In essence, the GOP encourages and fights for COVID-19 disease spread and premature deaths, fails to address baseline facts or the efficacy of the GOP public health plan if they had their way and the governor did nothing to protect citizens from getting sick and dying from the pandemic virus.
The GOP enjoys a shallow, Pyrrhic legal victory without questions or scrutiny from the media or press about how many more or less New Mexicans would get sick and/or die if GOP leaders were in charge of COVID-19 public health plans or responses.
I’m old enough to remember when investigative journalists would ask tough questions related to GOP public health narratives, if such opinions exist, rather than simply follow the results of a legal challenge.
Michael Smith, Las Cruces
COVID — who wins?
Thanks for your ongoing COVID coverage, including “Poll: Pandemic stress has weighed on Gen Z” 12/7/21.
It’s simple. Given the global pandemic — who wins? Do the drug companies continue to win (read: billions more in profits) or the world (read: millions of lives saved, economies and schools opened up, billions of dollars saved)?
The Biden Administration simply needs to make Moderna and Pfizer share the vaccine recipe and production know-how with the world. Use moral authority or the Defense Production Act or whatever. Otherwise COVID continues to mutate and people needlessly suffer and die.
Who wins? The profiteers or the people?
Rich Renner, Las Cruces
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