A bill to protect cannabis patients' rights passed the N.M. Senate, but not before republican members took potshots.
At what point is medical marijuana going to be treated as more than a joke by the Republican side of the aisle?
Republicans can’t seem to resist remaining ignorant on the subject.
SB177 included multiple provisions for medical cannabis patients, including protections for organ transplants.
The Senate passed it on Monday with a vote of 29-11, but not without some shocking commentary from Republican members.
Sen. William Sharer (R-Farmington) was easily the most clueless of the senators who spoke.
“In here we talk about chronic conditions, how do we define chronic conditions? Is the fact that I’m chronically ugly a reason to do this?” he asked, implying that medical marijuana law is constructed so recklessly that a self-diagnosis of ugliness could be considered on par with the debilitating conditions people use medical marijuana to treat.
Sen. Cisco McSorley (D-Albuquerque), the bill’s sponsor, agreed that Sharer is, in fact, ugly, but said chronic ugliness wasn’t approved for treatment with cannabis.
McSorley explained the law, outlining where Sharer could have read the definition for “chronic condition” himself.
Sharer did not stop there however; he also commented on another change to the bill: the removal of rulemaking authority on THC potency.
As explained by McSorley, it was removed by recommendation of the medical board to reflect best practices across the nation. Sharer’s rebuttal is a familiar one: the increasing potency of marijuana.
He questioned whether McSorley understands that marijuana being grown over the Colorado border is significantly stronger than what he may be proposing to regulate with this bill.
“No, this isn’t your mother’s medical cannabis,” McSorley said, explaining that marijuana with lower THC potency just isn’t effective as medication for patients.
Sharer wasn’t the end of the clueless parade.
Sen. Craig Brandt (R-Rio Rancho) said of Colorado’s medical marijuana program that he is “not sure why they even still have medical marijuana up there.”
Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Alamogordo) made it obvious that he has never spoken to a patient, nor researched a single medical marijuana program, when he suggested things like requiring all PTSD patients to be prescribed the same type of marijuana and restricting their access to any other products.
Someone might want to remind Pirtle that without the presence of years of medical research, these types of prescriptions are impossible. For anyone paying attention, this is old news, but medical marijuana research is in its infancy.
The level of pride that these senators took in being ignorant about medical marijuana was appalling, sidestepping every opportunity for legitimate discourse to deliver punchlines or sling insults.