It was a surreal session at the Roundhouse.
The 2021 New Mexico legislative session was largely virtual, so a large part of what anyone saw of the session was not at the Roundhouse at all, but rather images of legislators sitting in their home offices and participating via Zoom sessions.
But the virtual session also had a bitter reality. A new, more progressive group of legislators held sway – made possible by progressives’ defeat of moderate Democrats in last year’s primary election. The fact that elections have consequences was very evident this year.
The results then were not all that surprising, but they were jolting nonetheless. Here’s a look at key outcomes.
Limitless Abortion. After years of pushing for it, the progressives finally got what they wanted – a law repealing restrictions on abortion in New Mexico. While some of those restrictions weren’t in effect because of court rulings, others were. Here are a few immediate, practical changes of the new law: ·
State law no longer includes conscience protections for medical professionals who are unwilling to do abortions.
- The mother is no longer required to give consent to an abortion – a coup for abusers and sex traffickers.
- Mothers no longer have legal protections if they are injured in an abortion procedure.
- The bill continues to legalize third-trimester abortions, even after a young woman and her baby were killed last year during a third-trimester abortion.
There is no justification for these outcomes; it is as bad as it sounds. See how your state senator and representative voted.
Assisted Suicide. Near the end of the session, progressives succeeded in checking off another longtime goal, legalizing assisted suicide. When Gov. Lujan Grisham signed the bill, she made New Mexico just the ninth state to take that life-devaluing step.
Suicide is already a major problem in New Mexico. According to the Centers for Disease Control, our state has the fourth-highest suicide rate in the nation, with suicide ranking as the ninth-leading cause of death. Suicide contagion is real, and the state’s legitimization of some suicides will likely only add to the problem.
There has also been strong concern in recent years over elder abuse in our state. Assisted suicide laws compound that problem. In 2019 in Oregon, 54 percent of people who requested assisted suicide did so because they feared being a burden on their family. This new law enables financial predators in the family who would seek to reduce the burden of care and get access to wealth.
On the positive side, your strong responses to our action alerts created pressure on legislators, and the bill was amended with some limited improvements. However, even these safeguards are unenforceable and able to be avoided. See how your state senator and representative voted.
Recreational Marijuana. When the legislature couldn’t finish up the marijuana bill before the regular session ended, Gov. Lujan Grisham wasted no time in calling a special session, where the era of Big Marijuana in New Mexico was quickly ushered in.
Now our state will have to grapple with many of the same challenges as our neighbor to the north. Since Colorado legalized recreational weed, it has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, traffic fatalities, and marijuana hospitalizations. And usage by minors – sometimes fatal, from eating poorly regulated marijuana “candies” – has soared. See how your state senator and representative voted.
A Ray of Hope? Yes, this legislative session produced a sharp, leftward lurch for New Mexico. But now the Left has to own it – their voting records and the unpopular consequences of their policies. As we’ve seen, elections have consequences. And sometimes, so do legislative sessions.
Thanks for your faithful support and action. Let’s keep at it!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
Well, that didn’t take long. As soon as the regular legislative session was done – a little over a week ago – Gov. Lujan-Grisham suggested that she may call a special session to bring full-fledged recreational marijuana to New Mexico. That session begins tomorrow – at a heavy cost to taxpayers.
But while the cost of security for the special session (potentially well over $100,000) has gotten the main attention, the real cost to taxpayers will come if the Legislature and Governor actually legalize recreational pot. After all, in states that have fully legalized marijuana, the cost to the states has been enormous.
As New Mexicans, we have to look no further than Colorado to see the social and fiscal costs since legalization in 2014. Since that time, our neighboring state has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, traffic fatalities, and marijuana hospitalizations. And usage by minors – sometimes fatal, from eating poorly regulated marijuana “candies” – has soared.
Watch this short video to see what awaits New Mexico if legislators choose to do the Governor’s bidding and legalize recreational weed.
TAKE ACTION: Please take 30 seconds to send a message to your state senator and representative asking them to oppose legalizing recreational marijuana in the special session. (Even if you contacted them earlier, it’s important that they hear from you again.)
Thank you for speaking up and spreading the word!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
Today, the House Federal & State Affairs Committee passed a bill that is deceptively called a “medical” marijuana bill. However, as it was passed out of committee, it would essentially allow anyone to obtain marijuana for almost any reason at all.
Medical Marijuana is typically used as a step towards fully legalizing recreational marijuana. But in this case, proponents of the bill didn’t even really try to hide what they are doing by bypassing amendments that would have added regulations and medical oversight to the bill. There is nothing “medical” about the bill as it exists.
As other states have been legalizing marijuana over the last decade, the harms are no longer just hypothetical – they are real and documented.
Here are just a couple harms that we’ve seen from other states:
- The number of fatal crashes involving marijuana have more than doubled in states that have legalized marijuana.
- One study found that regular recreational marijuana users had psychotic disorders at a greater rate than users of any other drug (more than cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, LSD, PCP, or alcohol).
- Following legalization, central Oregon hospitals saw a nearly 2,000% increase in emergency room visits due to marijuana poisoning.
- Between 2017 and 2018, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon—three states with legalized marijuana—were among the top four states with an increase in chronically homeless people.
These are just a few of the problems associated with legalizing marijuana. Not to mention this is still a Schedule 1 drug under federal law along with ecstasy and heroin.
This legislation is dangerous for our families.
Our families deserve better,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
The bill that would have made recreational marijuana legal in North Dakota was defeated in the Senate today with a 37 to 10 margin.
Thank you to everyone who contacted your legislators to help get this win!
President and Executive Director
It’s the last week of the session, and things are happening quickly. Thanks for staying engaged and taking action!
On Sunday, there were two big developments on bills that we’ve been telling you about.
ASSISTED SUICIDE. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee met for several hours on Sunday and heard House Bill 47, which would legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico. Family Policy Alliance was one of four groups allowed to testify against the bill in the minimal time allowed.
It was clear that the hundreds of emails you sent through our Action Center – plus countless phone calls to key senators – made a difference. For a time, it appeared that the bill might be defeated in the committee. But one of the senators with strong concerns about the bill ultimately voted to allow the bill to go to the Senate floor, where he will attempt to address some of its major problems. With his vote, the bill passed committee, 5-3.
Despite the fact that it only passed committee last night, it could be voted on by the full Senate as early as today!
Your action is needed!
- Please take five minutes to call these key senators and leave a simple message asking them to vote NO on assisted suicide (HB47):
- Senator Campos: (505) 397-8818
- Senator Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830
- Senator Munoz: (505) 397-8836
- Senator Pinto: (505) 397-8841
- Senator Rodriguez: (505) 397-8844
- Senator Shendo: (505) 397-8849
- Please also take 30 seconds to send a message to your senator – even if you have done so previously.
RECREATIONAL POT. Thank you to the hundreds of you who also reached out to the Senate committee that was scheduled to hear the bill to fully legalize Big Marijuana in New Mexico. Yesterday, at the last minute, that bill (House Bill 12) was moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it may be considered today or tomorrow.
That move to a new committee is likely an indication that your messages were making a difference! But now Senate Judiciary needs to hear from New Mexicans who are concerned about the Colorado-style damage that this bill will inflict on our state!
Please take a moment to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose recreational marijuana (HB12). When you send a message, it will also include your own senator, even if they aren’t on the committee.
From the elderly and infirm (assisted suicide) to vulnerable young people (Big Marijuana), these attacks devalue life and must be fought. Thanks again for standing firm and taking action!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
The sprint that is otherwise known as the New Mexico legislative session is now two-thirds done. Thank you for continuing to speak up to legislators.
Despite the Governor signing the radical abortion bill, there are critical issues that remain! Here are some of the most important – and what you can do about them:
This dangerous bill would give the state’s approval to some suicides and, for the first time, turn our doctors into life-takers. But despite its radical nature, it has passed the House and the first Senate committee. Now it is on its way to perhaps its most critical vote – in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Will you take action to stop it?
- Call these three key committee members and leave a message asking them to vote NO on Assisted Suicide:
- Sen. Bill O’Neill: (505) 397-8838
- Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830
- Sen. Joseph Cervantes: (505) 397-8820
- After you’ve called, take 30 seconds to send a message to the whole committee.
On Friday, the Recreational Marijuana bill passed the House, 39-31. Now, it is headed to the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee.
Consider these facts:
- Medical marijuana is already legalized in New Mexico.
- Possessing small personal amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized.
- Since Colorado legalized recreational weed, our neighboring state has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, traffic fatalities, and marijuana hospitalizations. And usage by minors – sometimes fatal, from eating poorly regulated marijuana “candies” – has soared.
Take Action Now: Take a few moments to send a message to the entire Senate committee that is about to hear this bill.
Here is some good news: Last Friday, the Sex Offender & Human Trafficking Changes Bill passed the House nearly unanimously and will soon be heard in Senate committees. This bill makes needed changes to clamp down on the major problem of sex trafficking in New Mexico.
For our kids and grandkids,
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
New Mexico’s 55th legislative session will be novel in some ways and familiar in others. The legislature has limited in-person public testimony at the Capitol due to ongoing health concerns, planning to conduct hearings via video conferencing. Though, many of our legislative priorities will be very familiar.
Once again, physician-assisted suicide is on the table, filed as HB 47—The Elizabeth Whitfield End-of-Life-Options Act. It is currently in the House Committee on Health, & Human Services and is expected to have a hearing soon.
HB 47 would legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico by allowing patients to obtain lethal drugs from medical professionals who do not even have to be doctors – this is essentially Non-Physician assisted suicide. This legislation would also enable the same non-physicians to determine the mental capacity of patients requesting lethal drugs. It would take the extra step of forcing doctors and medical professionals to violate their conscience by mandating that they refer patients for assisted suicide when requested, regardless of the patient’s mental or medical condition.
HB 47 lacks many safeguards found in other states that protect patients from dangerous abuse and coercion from predatory family members and profit-driven insurance companies, putting the disabled and the elderly at particular risk.
Although it has not yet been introduced, we expect another substantial effort to repeal abortion statute protections for women and doctors. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has reiterated her commitment to supporting legislative efforts to remove all abortion-related laws from New Mexico statutes, including those that provide doctors’ conscience protections and require a woman’s consent before having an abortion.
Lawmakers will likely introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, again with support from the Governor’s office (a proposal 63% of New Mexicans opposed just a year ago). Supporters claim legalization will bring in tax revenue but dismiss the heavy cost legalization would have on our communities, particularly our children and communities of color, not to mention the health and safety risks that have become realities in other states which have legalized recreational marijuana.
Despite these radical efforts, we are proud we have strong allies in our state capitol we can stand alongside and support—Elected officials who are committed to representing your values.
Please join us in supporting these legislators by praying that God may bless their efforts and ensure our voices are heard.
With your support we will remain vigilant in standing for life, family and religious freedom and keep you updated on the movement of legislation and how you can get involved.
The Family Policy Alliance team alerted you when Nancy Pelosi tried to sneak a taxpayer funding stream for abortion into the COVID-19 relief plan—and your voice and quick action helped stop her in her tracks. We alerted you when Planned Parenthood unbelievably asked for donations of medical supplies like masks and defied orders to stop elective procedures. But another big money industry is hoping to cash in on the coronavirus crisis. Big Marijuana—and their allies in the U.S. House—are hoping to get disaster relief funding for themselves.
Big Marijuana believes it deserves your taxpayer dollars—despite the fact that marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law. It begs the question: With so many small businesses hurting during the crisis, why should taxpayer relief money go to an illegal industry already flowing in cash?
At last count, about thirty other legislators (from both sides of the aisle) joined Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) in pushing House leadership to make the marijuana industry eligible for all COVID-19 relief programs—even though these programs are already low on funding. Worse yet, the bill would require the funding to extend not just to medical marijuana dispensaries, but to recreational marijuana as well.
And what would our taxpayer money pay for if Big Marijuana were given access to COVID-19 relief? Check out our video on what Colorado looks like since legalizing recreational pot.
Keep in mind that in many states, Big Marijuana has been considered an “essential business” and allowed to continue operations—still raking in cash. Yet, America’s small businesses have been forced to close their doors, suffering major revenue loss and leaving millions of Americans without jobs.
Big Marijuana and their allies in Congress want to see money intended for America’s small businesses go up in smoke—literally.
Family Policy Alliance strongly opposes this effort to allow Big Marijuana access to COVID-19 relief programs. If you agree, please help us spread the word by sharing this article on Facebook or by forwarding it to your friends.
For the family,
The 2020 Legislative Session is officially over and I am proud to report that we had another successful year!
- We defeated attempts to introduce anti-life legislation.
After the historic defeat of HB51 last year, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham quickly stated her intent to bring the radical abortion bill back during the 2020 Session. The bill was not on the original agenda, but after information surfaced that the Governor was desperately lobbying legislators behind the scenes, we quickly mobilized the pro-life community to push back. Thanks to our quick engagement and the unwillingness of pro-life Democrats in the Senate to change their vote, no anti-life legislation was introduced—including attempts to codify abortion up to the moment of birth and legalize assisted suicide.
- We helped pass protections for pregnant women in the workforce.
As part of our pro-life platform, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico® joined Right to Life of New Mexico and Project Defending Life in supporting HB25 to protect pregnant women in the workforce. The legislation prohibits pregnancy-related discrimination from employers and requires them to provide “reasonable accommodations” during an employee’s pregnancy. HB25 unanimously passed the House (65-0) and Senate (41-0) and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.
- We defeated attempts to legalize recreational marijuana.
Against all odds, recreational marijuana legislation was again defeated this year. Together with law enforcement; the business community; our national ally, SAM; and local church leaders, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico played a critical role in bringing public awareness to the dangers of recreational pot and its impact on public health and safety. Although the legislation was one of the Governor’s top priorities, it failed to gain momentum and drew bipartisan objections from legislators in the Senate and House.
On behalf of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, I want to thank every one of you for your faithful support of our efforts. Thank you for your prayers—because without the good Lord’s blessing, we would not be able to achieve the level of success we have. Thank you for your engagement—because without your participation, we would not have the credibility we have. And thank you for your financial support, because without your generosity, we would not exist.
Today, we celebrate our successes.
Tomorrow, we get back to work, because as we all know, there is still much work to do!
Our vision is a New Mexico where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Together, let’s continue our efforts to turn that vision into reality.
Standing for and with the family of believers,
The sun is beginning to set on the 2020 Legislative Session which concludes Thursday at noon. While we continue to keep a close eye on things, here is a brief recap of some things that took place last week—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The GOOD – Recreational pot stalls, Pregnant worker protection advances
After weeks of public debate and objections from concerned New Mexicans, efforts to legalize recreational marijuana stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Although the tabled bill, SB115, can be revived, the time is quickly running out and most people agree that the bill is now dead for the remainder of this Legislative Session. On the day of the hearing, the bill’s sponsors introduced a troubling committee substitute bill which would have, among other things, granted licensing authority to labor unions and allowed convicted drug dealers to qualify for licenses. Ultimately, two Democrats joined the four Republicans on the committee to table the bill. Special thanks to all of you who responded to our Action Alerts by sending messages and making phone calls!
In the meantime, HB25—a pregnant worker accommodation bill—is just one step away from heading to the Governor’s desk. This legislation protects pregnant women from being terminated solely because of their pregnancy and requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for them during the pregnancy. HB25 passed the House 65-0 and is now awaiting a full vote in the Senate.
The BAD – Governor maintains radical abortion talk
In spite of experiencing the biggest setback of her administration just 11 months ago—the defeat of HB51–Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham continues to make it clear that codifying abortion up-to-birth remains one of her top priorities. As reported by the Albuquerque Journal, the Governor recently spoke at a Planned Parenthood event and stated, “The second we have the votes in the Senate, that antiquated, absolutely outrageous law is gone.” The Governor’s remark demonstrates the growing division and tension between progressive and traditional Democrats in Santa Fe. Whether the Governor gets her wish will depend on the outcome of the 2020 Election.
The UGLY – Planned Parenthood planning to expand in New Mexico
While other states are passing pro-life legislation at a record pace, New Mexico remains a primary target of the abortion industry. NM Political Report has reported that Planned Parenthood considers New Mexico to be a key state for abortion access moving forward and they are already raising money to build a new abortion clinic in Albuquerque. According to the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, New Mexico and Colorado serve as “a little island” where women can travel to obtain late-term abortions. Should other states continue to enact pro-life laws, expect New Mexico’s reputation as an abortion tourism destination to grow.
The Final Countdown
The Legislative Session concludes Thursday at noon and we will be at the Capitol until the final gavel drops. That said, if you appreciate the work we are doing and if you would like to see it continue, would you consider sending us a gift today? Click here to send your gift now and help us continue to fight for a New Mexico where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
Thank you for your prayers and support.
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team