New Mexico Republicans Stop Short of Repudiating Governor 7/30/99

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Republican officials in New Mexico have gone out of their way in recent weeks to distance themselves from Governor Gary Johnson's statements regarding the need to reassess the drug war, but they stopped short of endorsing a platform plank against the decriminalization of currently illicit drugs. Instead, the party has decided to send a letter to the governor outlining the official Republican position on drugs.

State party chair Brian Dendahl argued against the resolution, writing a letter to all forty members of the committee urging them to hold off on the resolution for fear of signaling a split in their ranks. "As I write this I worry that the resolution would be perceived as a direct slap of Governor Johnson by our committee," he wrote.

Johnson's recent statements, including his repeated assertion that he does not believe that smoking marijuana ought to be considered a crime, have gotten wide play in New Mexico, both in the media and in the political arena. Johnson's fellow Republicans, in particular, have gone out of their way to publicly disagree with their governor. Johnson, however, has told the media that the mail he has received on the issue is running "10 to 1" in favor of his proposal to study the situation. All 112 seats of the New Mexico legislature are up for grabs next year.

Steve Bunch, director of the New Mexico Drug Policy Foundation and coordinator of the New Mexico Alliance for Drug Policy Reform, told The Week Online that he is encouraged by the surge in interest that the governor's statements have brought to the issue, but that there is a lot of work to be done before real change can be foreseen.

"Right now there is a tremendous opportunity to educate people in the state as to the damage being done by current policies. We're certainly not at the point where we're looking for legislative initiatives, but we also know that when people become aware of the real impact of the drug war, the expense, the civil liberties issues, and especially the fact that this policy is egregiously failing our kids, they tend to get very interested in discussing alternative strategies. It's up to us to get the message out, to educate potential allies and to make it as politically dangerous to ignore the problem as it is now to face the problem."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #101, 7/30/99 House Reinstates "Social Riders" in District of Colombia Appropriations Bill | New Mexico Republicans Stop Short of Repudiating Governor | Jamaica: Lawmakers Consider Decriminalization of Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Research Facility | Clinton Administration Proposes Changes to Methadone Regulations | Army Spy Plane Disappears Over Colombia, Speculation of Coming US Intervention Abounds | Australian State to Open Legal Heroin Injecting Room | DEA Chief Acknowledges Agency's Ineffectiveness | Newsbriefs | Senate Considering Raising Methamphetamine Penalties | Editorial: Body Bags
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]