Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not Enough Time to Debate Medical Marijuana Repeal, Smith Says

Freshman Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park apparently realizes that his bill to repeal the state's medical marijuana program doesn't seem to have much traction in the Legislature.

Smith issued a news release in which he's calling for a Health Department study on the program during the interim.

... with the first hearing on the bill not scheduled until late in the session, it is clear there will not be enough time to fully debate the bill. To that end, Rep. Smith has held discussions with those on the other side of the issue and has introduced a Memorial to debate the issue in the interim, and get more information on the program.

“This is a debate that will happen,” said Rep. Smith “there are too many questions about this program that need answers.” Rep. Smith has agreed to bring his measure in the interim so that everyone deeply concerned about this issue can be heard. “I believe this is a debate that should have the time it needs for everyone to voice their opinion.”

Smith's House Memorial 53 notes that the original bill that established the program called for an annual report on the program -- which hasn't happened, apparently due to lack of funding.

Gov. Susana Martinez said during last year's campaign that she'd favor repealing the program. But early this year she said it would not be a priority in this legislative session.