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January 2006
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New Mexico Senate Lectures Drug Czar’s Office on Proper Behavior

I attended the medical marijuana hearing in the Illinois legislature last year, when we had high hopes that were dashed by the sudden appearance of Drug Czar John Walters, who spoke his usual lies, and caused legislators to whimper and crumple.
It appears that New Mexico Senators are made of sterner stuff. They’re also considering a medical marijuana bill, so the Drug Czar sent special assistant David W. Murray to straighten them out.
Link

He likened medical-marijuana proponents to “medicine shows, traveling charlatans and snake-oil salesmen” selling phony “tinctures, magical herbs and remedies.” Murray said medical marijuana is an issue that has been brought forth not by the medical profession but by advocates of drug legalization.
“They use emotion, they use suffering patients, they use anecdote,” he said. And in a statement that some committee members criticized, Murray added: “I regard much of that as cynical and manipulative.”

Big mistake.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen , took him to task for those words, pointing out that sponsors of crime legislation often bring victims of crimes to testify without being called “cynical and manipulative .”
“I don’t know how you do it back East,” Sanchez told Murray, “But this is the people’s house. Everybody has a right to be here just as much as you do. When you said this to us, you showed us where you were really at. I don’t think you should go to a state and say such things about their people.”

Wow!
And these guys are smart.

Noting his argument that marijuana has no medicinal value, Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis , said, “We are not talking about the healing power of marijuana. The purpose of this is to reduce pain.” […]
Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell , disputed statements by Murray and some state law-enforcement representatives that medical marijuana will increase use of the drug. He compared the bill to the concealed-carry law, which lets people apply for permits to carry hidden guns. Some opponents said that law would give criminals the right to carry concealed weapons.
“But robbers are already doing that,” Adair said. Likewise, those who smoke marijuana illegally are doing so without a medical-marijuana law, he said.
Sen. John Grubesic, D-Santa Fe, told Murray he had a hard time accepting the claim that medical marijuana is “the huge bogey man you want it to be.”

The committee gave the measure a do-pass with bipartisan support.

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