Colombian President Gustavo Petro told members of the United Nations (UN) that “democracy will die” if the global drug war is allowed to continue.

During a speech before the UN’s General Assembly last week, Petro called global leaders to abandon drug prohibition and find a better way to deal with the world’s drug problems. Petro warned that continuing the drug war will only lead to more deaths and imprisonment while failing to curb drug overdoses.

“The war on drugs has lasted for 40 years. If we do not correct our course, and it goes on for another 40 years, the United States will see over 2 million more overdoses of fentanyl. This does not happen in Latin America,” he said, according to a UN translation. “There will be millions of African Americans who will be imprisoned in private jails. They will become the pawns of the prison business.”

He also pointed out that the drug war is having devastating effects on the jungles of Colombia. “The savior jungle,” he said, “is seen in my country as a the enemy to be defeated.”

“For you, my country interests you only if you spread poison in its jungle, take its men to prison and cast its women into exclusion,” said Petro. “What is more harmful to humanity: cocaine, carbon dioxide or oil?” he asked.

Scammers Target Cannabis Businesses

State regulators are warning everyone who owns a business that is licensed by the state—including cannabis businesses—that scammers have been posing as officials in a bid to trick business owners out of money.

In a recent notice to licensees, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) said that scammers have been reportedly sending emails to business owners claiming that the businesses are under investigation by the department. The fake calls claim that businesses’ licenses could be revoked and their owners arrested for the supposed infringements. The scammers then demand money to fix the nonexistent problem.

“If you receive such a call, please refuse the demand for payment and hang up,” said the department. Authorities said the RLD will never contact individuals to demand payment without initiating an official investigation.

Las Cruces Considers Outdoor Pot

The city of Las Cruces recently held a public meeting to allow citizens to weigh in on whether outdoor cannabis consumption should be allowed. Commenters were also encouraged to answer an online survey about whether they approved of city zoning rules for cannabis operations, including limits on distance between businesses and hours of operation.

Current city zoning laws allow indoor cannabis consumption areas only. It is unclear whether any cannabis businesses in Las Cruces have expressed a desire to open outdoor consumption areas. The city is presumably acting in preparation of the future.

In April, the Albuquerque City Council passed an ordinance that allows businesses to operate indoor and outdoor consumption areas.

Free ABQ Expungement Clinic This Weekend

Local cannabis companies Green Goods and Red Barn Growers have teamed up to host a free cannabis record expungement event this Saturday, Oct. 1.

Local legal experts will be volunteering to provide assistance with expunging qualifying cannabis-related charges. Previous criminal marijuana charges can keep a person from successfully applying for housing or employment. However, some of these charges are eligible for expungement now that cannabis is legal in New Mexico.

Any person who was charged or arrested for a simple cannabis-related charge in Bernalillo County after 2000 may attend the free event and find out if their record is eligible for expungement.

Register for an appointment at bit.ly/ABQExpungementClinic. Attendees will need to bring their court records and all paperwork related to their case. Appointments are strongly encouraged. The event will be hosted at the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10am to 2pm.