CARLSBAD — Senators from Eddy County voted against a bill that would allow access to marijuana, but it passed the Senate on a 27-11 vote. After a week of being stalled on the House floor, though, their votes were twice moot.
Senate bill 795 was on the House floor since Monday, but was skipped over each day. According to lobbyist Reena Szczepanski, the bill was the last item addressed Saturday before the House adjourned, but she said Speaker Ben Lujan said the bill was too controversial and would take up too much time.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t have the votes,” Szczepanski said Saturday afternoon. “It was that somehow, we were trapped in the middle of a game.”
Senate bill 795, named the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act, provided for the production and dispensing of marijuana within the state of New Mexico for people suffering from debilitating conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and spinal cord injuries.
Szczepanski said state Rep. Daniel Silva, an Albuquerque Democrat, was to blame for the hold-up.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Silva held up the bill because he could not get a bill that would help his constituents to build homes more cheaply in southwest Albuquerque heard in the Senate.
“I don’t want that bill heard,” Silva told the Santa Fe New Mexican regarding the medical marijuana bill. “My bill is a lot more important to my constituents.”