During his campaign for president, Donald Trump said he would leave marijuana laws in the hands of the states, but his appointment of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general has created uncertainty about the future of the legalization movement. At a speech on March 15, Sessions made his views clear. “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store,” he said. “And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.”
But Emily Kaltenbach, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Mexico, said it’s too late to backtrack on the issue. It’s a states’ rights issue, and some governors have already pushed back at the anti-marijuana rhetoric, she said.
Tucked away in the southwestern corner of New Mexico, the headwaters of the Gila River pour out of mountains remote and wild. At least five other times in the past century, officials thought about taming or tapping its upper waters—then bumped up against the Gila’s unpredictability or inaccessibility. But the problems of the past haven’t dissuaded New Mexico officials from planning a new diversion of the Gila river. Nor are diversion project proponents deterred by predictions for a warmer, drier future. Some say that makes a diversion all the more necessary.
Silver City officials don’t want anything to do with a planned diversion on the Gila River—or the group of local governmental agencies that have agreed to plan, operate, and maintain the diversion. Instead, the city is focusing on conservation and efficiency.
On the last week of voter registration, Claudia Perea, a 45 year-old housewife from Las Cruces goes door-to-door in neighborhoods with the largest numbers of eligible Latinos who are not registered to vote. Armed with a pen, voter registration forms and a clipboard, Perea took to the streets of Las Cruces and El Paso to register Latinos to vote in the 2016 presidential election. Perea is part of a voter registration drive conducted by Hillary for Las Cruces’ organizing office. “I help to recruit people to register to vote and target the Latino community heavily. I go door-to-door or to churches, parks and neighborhoods to try to register as many Latinos to vote as possible by Oct.
Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency released two-page fact sheets about climate change in each of the 50 states. Drawing on sources like the national climate assessments, the fact sheets don’t have new or breaking information. But they do provide a good overview for citizens and decision-makers who might be thinking about the future. In New Mexico, for example:
In the coming decades, our changing climate is likely to decrease the flow of water in the Colorado, Rio Grande, and other rivers; threaten the health of livestock; increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires; and convert some rangelands to desert. The fact sheet also lays out basic information for New Mexicans about declining snowpack, agricultural challenges, wildfire, and impacts to tribal communities.
Videos captured on Albuquerque police detectives’ body cameras during a June 28 police action in which they arrested two people at a legal, state-operated syringe exchange show the stark realities of how city officers enforce drug laws.
New Mexico in Depth is pleased to announce a two-semester professional journalism experience to student journalists of color involved with the New Mexico News Port at the University of New Mexico. New Mexico in Depth (NMID) is a digital-first journalism organization focused on public policy and institutions, social welfare, and the influence of money in politics. This fellowship reflects NMID’s desire to increase the diversity of the professional journalism field in New Mexico and beyond. Benefits of the fellowship:
$4,500 per semester ($9,000 total, paid in monthly installments). Experience within a professional news organization.
“I’m going to invoke my Fifth Amendment right.” Former Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear uttered that phrase — and others very much like it — more than 130 times on Tuesday as he was being deposed by an attorney for the family of a 19-year-old young woman Dear fatally shot in April 2014.
New allegations of excessive force by guards at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center threaten to thrust the jail back into a national debate about the treatment of inmates. This week county officials agreed to turn over videos to NMID of two previously unreported incidents involving alleged excessive force but then refused to release them.