Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mr. Mayor, Put Down Your Pen -Alibi


Originally published September 16, 2015 via alibi.com

On Sept. 21, the Albuquerque City Council will be voting on a city ordinance to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, similar to legislation enacted by the City of Santa Fe last year. The bad news is that a similar bill made it all the way to Mayor Richard Berry's desk last year, where he firmly vetoed it to smithereens.

Last November's general election ballot contained a question: should marijuana be decriminalized in New Mexico? 59.52% of voters in Bernalillo County were in support of decriminalization, making proponents optimistic. But the good mayor has already said that he'll veto again. I'm sure he's already stomping around his office, eyes rolling and teeth grinding as he waits to chew the thing up.

On a YouTube video posted last August, Berry explains that he vetoed the bill in part because it included, “decriminalizing the posession of an illegal drug in our city.” There was no mention of why that would be bad, exactly. No references to health risks or worries about youth addiction, or whatever. Just: it's illegal.

Let's consider that perhaps Mayor Berry hasn't been exposed to all of the facts concerning this controversial plant. Maybe his office doesn't have an internet connection.

See, when I first smoked pot, there was no Google. All I had to go on was the wisdom imparted on me by my parents, Ronald Reagan and a mustached D.A.R.E. officer in the sixth grade. When the effects of the pot wore off I was relieved to find that I hadn't murdered anyone, sold a baby for heroin or grown feathers.

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