Weed dollar$ a fact of life — even for New Mexico Republicans

One of the last singles by the late Merle Haggard was a fun little tune he sang with his old crony, Willie Nelson, and younger country star, Jamey Johnson, called “It’s All Going to Pot.” With obvious glee radiating from their weathered voices, Hag and his pals sang, “It’s all going to pot / Whether we like it or not…”

Yep, it looks like they do smoke marijuana in Muskogee after all…

…The message of “It’s All Going to Pot” rang loud and clear in New Mexico at the revelation that House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, had taken in at least $13,500 from marijuana businesses. According to a report by New Mexico In Depth, Gentry reported that the lion’s share of that amount was from Ultra Health LLC, a medical marijuana producer and its founder, Duke Rodriguez, a former Lovelace Medical Center executive. Rodriguez also served for a year or so as secretary of the state Human Services Department under then Gov. Gary Johnson in the mid-1990s.

Rodriguez spoke at a news conference during this year’s Legislature in which Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff announced a new poll for the Drug Policy Alliance showing 61 percent of those interviewed support legalization of marijuana for adults 21 or older.

Some were surprised that the House Republican leader was getting contributions from the marijuana industry. But I wasn’t. It’s true that Gentry is a strong ally of Gov. Susana Martinez, probably the most prominent anti-marijuana drug warrior in the state. But back in 2013, he was one of two Republican House members who voted in favor of a bill that would have drastically reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession…

I think as laws against marijuana continue to crumble and the demand grows for product, you’re going to be seeing a lot more Republicans getting into the business and a lot more GOP politicians getting money from marijuana producers.

Take it from Merle and Willie: “It’s all going to pot / Whether we like it or not. …”

There’s more meat in the whole article. Read it here.

If you’re a New Mexican you already know Steve Terrell as the primo political reporter in the state. If he says there’s is progress being made in the minds and wallets of state Republicans, my cynical heart has to take his word.

8 thoughts on “Weed dollar$ a fact of life — even for New Mexico Republicans

  1. Angel 4 Light says:

    Reblogged this on Angel 4 Light and commented:
    It will be wonderful when they lift the ban on this miracle weed. The uses are many. Now that States can reap big profits to help with infrastructure and various social programs, do you think they will release the poor innocent pot smokers from the clink and expunge their criminal records since smoking does no harm, infact it has been found through various studies that it helps cure depression, with only the side effects of having the munchies.

  2. Buddie™ says:

    According to The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment and research firm, legal marijuana has become the fastest growing industry in the United States after logging 74% year-over-year sales growth between 2013 and 2014.
    Estimates from some industry researchers, such as ArcView, have suggested that the compound annual growth rate for legal marijuana could average 30% through 2020. This could, by some estimates, push the legal industry’s annual sales value above the $22 billion mark — and that’s without the federal government legalizing marijuana. This estimate simply takes into account more states pushing through recreational and medical marijuana legislation with or without the assistance of the federal government. http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/04/17/the-great-marijuana-mystery-thats-likely-to-leave.aspx

  3. Ka-Ching! says:

    The Colorado Department of Revenue reported that marijuana retailers sold $270 million in cannabis and related products in the first three months of 2016, with February recording the fifth-highest sales since marijuana became legal in 2014. http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/05/11/colorado-pot-shops-march-2016/54019/ Among the taxes collected on retail pot sales is the school-funding 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transfers, which amounted to $3.5 million in March. One of the cornerstones of the campaign that successfully ran Colorado’s pot-legalizing Amendment 64 says that the first $40 million raised by that excise tax will go toward school construction projects. That specific tax totaled $13.3 million in 2014 and $35 million in 2015, and industry analysts say they are confident it will top $40 million in 2016.

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