Searching for a New Mexico politician to respect* sent me back to the beginning of the last century - to U.S. Senator Bronson Cutting. What would he think of industrial hemp and genetically engineered seed? In Bronson's day hemp was grown in New Mexico. Testimony on Representative Begaye's Industrial Hemp bill included that of a man who recounted how his grandfather grew it successfully in Truchas for many years.
House Bill 575 is at least the fifth attempt at legislation for industrial hemp production. In 2009 there were memorials and two bills that died. Two bills in 2001 died in committee. In 2000 HB 388 died in committee. In 1998 a bill passed both houses, but was vetoed by Governor Johnson. (Go figure.)
Efforts to liberalize hemp elsewhere are having a similarly bumpy ride.
In the House Agriculture committee debate on HB575, Representative Cervantes suggested the bill didn't need all that pesky licensing and fees wording. The bill was temporarily tabled for gutting and hasn't been seen since.
Now, if it was about using genetically modified hemp seed from Monsanto, we might get somewhere.