Yo, what’s up? My name is Dan, and I’m here to tell you about some new legislation that’s being proposed in New Mexico. So, apparently, there’s this medical cannabis law that’s been in place since 2007, but it’s been blocking first responders and firefighters from being able to use it. That’s messed up, right? Well, the good news is that some local firefighters unions are backing a bill that would change all of that.
Basically, this bill would narrow the definition of “safety-sensitive position” under the medical cannabis law. Right now, the law is too broad, and it’s preventing firefighters from using medical marijuana without their employer’s permission. But if this new bill passes, the definition would only include employees who are required to carry a firearm or operate a vehicle with a commercial driver’s license and whose performance under the influence of drugs or alcohol would constitute an immediate or direct threat of injury or death to themselves or others.
The president of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 244, Miguel Tittmann, says that firefighters just want to be treated like everyone else when it comes to responsible policy. They don’t want to use medical marijuana while they’re on the clock if it’s going to impair their ability to do their job safely. But if they can negotiate responsible policy, then they should be able to use it just like any other prescribed medication.
Christopher Johnson, the president of IAFF 2362 in Las Cruces, agrees. He says that he hopes this bill will clear things up at the state level so that municipalities can start making their own distinctions and allow firefighters to use medical marijuana as well.
Now, you might be wondering how likely it is that this bill will actually pass. Well, the good news is that Democrats hold majorities in both chambers of the New Mexico legislature. Plus, the state’s Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, is pro-cannabis. In fact, she recently signed legislation that made adult-use marijuana legal in New Mexico. She called it “a major, major step forward for our state,” and said that it would create thousands of good paying jobs and help right past wrongs caused by the war on drugs.
So, all in all, things are looking pretty good for firefighters who want to be able to use medical marijuana in New Mexico. Sales of both medical and recreational cannabis totaled more than $40 million in December alone, so it’s clear that there’s a demand for it. And with this new bill on the horizon, it looks like things are only going to get better from here.