A group of University of New Mexico law students want to help people expunge their criminal cannabis records.
New Mexico courts have been working to automatically expunge simple possession of cannabis charges that would be legal today under the state’s cannabis law. But court employees don’t have an easily searchable database to find eligible cases, and state law requires that those with complex cases involving non-cannabis charges in addition to simple possession make a request before receiving expungement.
According to KRQE, the law clinic at UNM will help guide individuals with these sorts of cases as they navigate the expungement process. UNM law professor Serge Martinez told reporters that 40 to 50 law students will be using the clinic to gain experience with real world cases.
The clinic is especially interested in individuals who have cannabis records that include additional crimes, making the case more complicated.
Martinez said anyone who is interested in getting help at the free clinic should call (505) 277-5265 for more details.
First Picuris Pueblo Dispensary Planned
The first adult-use cannabis dispensary in Picuris Pueblo will reportedly open its doors before August.
According to Taos News, Picuris Pueblo Gov. Craig Quanchello said the dispensary will be located where NM 75 meets NM 76 on the High Road to Taos and be open seven days a week. The dispensary is expected to employ about a dozen people. Quanchello said the dispensary will also have an onsite consumption lounge and a pizza parlor.
The pueblo also plans to open a dispensary at West Alameda and Sandoval streets in downtown Santa Fe.
Last year Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an intergovernmental agreement between the state of New Mexico and the pueblos of Picuris and Pojoaque that recognized the pueblos’ sovereignty and supported their right to take part in the adult-use cannabis industry.
The agreement was made in part to discourage the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) from interfering with legal cannabis operations that have been approved by the tribe. The BIA raided a Picuris Pueblo home in 2021 over personal medical cannabis plants that were legal under tribal law.
Pojoaque Pueblo has already opened a dispensary—Wo Poví Cannabis—off of US 84/285.
UNM Studies Symptom Relief When High
Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) have found that medical cannabis patients who report feeling high when they consume also report greater relief of symptoms. However, they also experienced an increase in negative side effects.
The UNM study was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. Senior author Jacob Vigil said that patients who are looking to treat symptoms probably won’t be able to avoid the high associated with marijuana use.
“Typically, feeling ‘high’ is assumed to be the goal of recreational use, but a limitation to cannabis’ therapeutic potential,” he said in a press release. “In this paper, we test the validity of this assumption and find that feeling ‘high’ may be an unavoidable component of using cannabis medicinally.”
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