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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

IT WAS SO COLD THAT ...

• People were leaving their freezer doors open just to warm up.

• We saw someone rubbing two icicles together, hoping for a spark.

• That place where all the bad people go really did freeze over.

Go ahead and laugh about it, to keep from crying over the busted pipes, the cars that wouldn’t start, the icy slips in the driveway and, soon enough, the enormous heating bills we’ll have to pay for in remembrance of the Ice Days of 2011.
The snow we can use, but 20 below is just too cold.

IMPRESSIVE TURNOUT, CONSIDERING. It was a terrible day for an election — right after a snowfall and with single-digit temperatures — but more than 1,000 voters turned out on each side of the Gallinas River for Tuesday’s school board elections. The result was a fair sampling of opinions — or, more precisely, a total of the opinions that mattered — and the election of five new board members and one incumbent in the West and East school districts.

Too often voter turnouts are dismal, but this past Tuesday, with all the reasons why people could have stayed home, we saw a commitment to representative democracy. Thanks to all who conquered the elements and found they way to their polling place to cast a ballot.

WELL KEPT. We took our recyclables to the drop-off area at the transfer station in northern Las Vegas the other day and what did we find? Well-kept, orderly, clean recycling containers, that’s what.

When they annexed the transfer station property last month, city officials said they intended to clean it up, and our trip got us to thinking that maybe they are doing just that. We haven’t taken any trash up there yet so we haven’t seen that part of the operation lately, but our recycling trip gives us hope that the entire area is being improved.

LEAVING IT ALONE FOR NOW. It looks as if the state’s medical marijuana program will continue for the time being, despite the fact the Gov. Susana Martinez opposes the law. New Mexico has more pressing problems, she’s said, such as the state budget, so repealing the law is not going to be a priority during the current legislative session.

Under the law, only patients with conditions approved by the health secretary can legally use medical marijuana. Cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and HIV-AIDS are some of the 16 conditions the law allows to be treated with marijuana use. According to the Associated Press, as of Jan. 27 the state had 3,198 active medical cannabis patients, includes 440 people using it for cancer.

This is good news for people like Las Vegas resident Robert Jones, who says there are now 106 licensed users in San Miguel County. As one of the first to sign up for the program, Jones has been through plenty of hassles just to treat the symptoms of his illness.

The governor is right — she has better things to do than to take on a law that helps a lot of sick people, including many terminal patients.

• • •

AND WE QUOTE

“There shall be no shades of grey in this matter and we shall be accountable for our actions no matter what the ramifications are.”
— Christian Montaño, Las Vegas’ new police chief, on the use of excessive force by officers.