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NM’s Cannabis Anniversary, Nuclear Disposal Decision Nears & Breaking the Cycle of Dependency

This week on New Mexico in Focus, Gene Grant and The Line Opinion Panel assess the first year of recreational cannabis sales in our state. The panelists respond to questions about equity in the cannabis market, tax revenue and industry regulation. Then, the panel dives into several pressing environmental issues impacting New Mexico. Those include a request to extend the license at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Plant, a pending decision that would create yet another nuclear waste dump and historic flooding in the Jemez River Valley.  

Opioid addiction has destroyed lives and families across the country and here in New Mexico. UNM Health Sciences has been treating expectant mothers who are addicted through its Milagro Program. The goal is to break the cycle of dependency, but Dr. Larry Leeman, the program’s medical director, says methadone and buprenorphine treatments aren’t always successful. That’s why he’s leading a first-of-its-kind study aimed at addressing the underlying mental traumas that feed addiction. The program will incorporate MDMA, a drug popularly known as ecstasy or molly. As Dr. Leeman tells senior producer Lou Divizio, when given in a controlled setting, it can help mothers overcome trauma-driven addiction and improve the bond with their child. 

Gene Grant speaks with New Mexico filmmaker Larry Sheffield about his new documentary profiling J. Robert Oppenheimer. The film pieces together old footage, declassified documents and other research from months and years after the nuclear test at White Sands Missile Range. It premiers Saturday, April 22 at the SALA Los Alamos Event Center.  

Inspired by Carl Sagan, who wrote about “cosmic isolationism” in his 1985 novel, Contact, Our Land Senior Producer Laura Paskus travels to Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico to explore what it means to connect with the night sky — and protect it for future generations. 

Host: Gene Grant

The Line Opinion Panel: 
Andy Lyman, staff writer, Santa Fe Reporter 
Shaun Griswold, editor, Source New Mexico 
Dede Feldman, former NM State Senator 

UNM Study Hopes to Break the Cycle of Dependency Using MDMA-Assisted Therapy 
Correspondent: Lou DiVizio 
Guest: Dr. Larry Leeman, MD, MPH, medical director, Milagro Program, UNM School of Medicine 

NM Filmmaker Premiers Documentary, ‘Oppenheimer After Trinity’ 
Correspondent: Gene Grant 
Guest: Larry Sheffield, filmmaker 

Our Land: Dark Skies 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guests: Kelly Ricks, astronomy volunteer, Capulin Volcano National Monument    
Bernard Poskus, park guide, Capulin Volcano National Monument   
Sam Finn, retired professor of physics and astronomy