February 11, 2016

Odds and Ends: Marijuana a revenue source?

—John Arthur Smith gave a very pessimistic overview of the budget Friday morning. And, of course, someone brought up marijuana as a potential revenue source for New Mexico. The conservative Democrat from Deming was, shall we say skeptical.

“I think there’s some real questions about how legit that revenue stream is for Colorado,” Smith said. He went on to add that “there’s no brilliant idea out there right now” to fix everything.

—Before voting against a bill that will allow local governments to set curfews on teens, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, talked about his support for GOP-backed three strikes laws for violent offenders. He said he’s taken some heat from Democratic base supporters on the issue. “The reality is that last year and the last several years, regardless of where the statistics are at, there’s been far too many tragedies in our community,” Candelaria said.

—A bunch of media outlets (New Mexico In Depth, KUNM, New Mexico PBS, New Mexico News Port) came together on Wednesday night to hold a panel as part of their People, Power and Democracy project. Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, was on hand and he spoke about the money in politics; he said when he first ran, he was told he would need to spend $20,000 to $25,000. “That won’t even get you in the door these days,” he said.

He said now it could be $250,000 for a competitive race.

—Double OT between the House and Senate in the annual basketball game for charity. The Senate ended up winning 32-29. Double overtime!

There are going to be some sore Senators and Representatives tomorrow. Howie Morales led the Senate with a game-high 13 points and, according to KRQE-TV’s Alex Goldsmith, the game’s MVP.

It was the third-straight win for the Senate.

More importantly, they raised $22,347 for cancer research.