Swickard: Better to solve problems than create new ones

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. Solving problems is a funny business. The other day someone asked how to deal with thousands of wild horses starving in New Mexico. They wanted to prevent those horses from starving. So I combined that with another problem. 
     The reintroduction of gray wolves into New Mexico has caused ranchers in those areas huge problems because the aforementioned wolves not only eat deer and elk, they eat cows. Why? The cows are easier to catch and must taste good.
     The most pernicious cow catchers are gathered by the authorities and housed in a pen for wayward wolves to get them to quit killing cows. But the damage to ranchers is of concern. So to review: horses are starving and wolves are killing cows. 
     Problem solver that I am: why not move those hungry wolves to the areas where thousands upon thousands of wild horses are starving. The wolves will put the horses down and live happily ever after since they are killing machines.
      Forget the legal fight in Roswell about horsemeat packing. Natural predation will cull out the weak and sick wild horses leaving the strong to survive in a much smaller herd. It is a win-win solution. However, I do expect the wolves to protest, “Hey, this meat tastes like dog food.”
     There is another unrelated problem that is not as easy to solve. Through a state Constitutional Amendment process Colorado legalized marijuana and now members of the New Mexico legislature are looking at a state Constitutional Amendment to do likewise in New Mexico. The problem as I see it is the New Mexico legislators have not adequately considered the problems this will cause. Let me count them:
      First, it is the wrong way to make societal changes. The legislature is designed to enact those types of rule changes. Evoking the Constitutional amendment process is a chicken way to avoid the governor’s veto and opponent advertisements saying said legislator is soft on drugs. If it cannot pass in the people’s house, it is not a good idea.
      Second, as Colorado is finding out, it not only opens Pandora’s Box but a whole host of Pandora Boxes not the least of which is that it is an activity both legal and illegal at the same time. The United States is a land of laws. It is what makes our country different than other countries that have “situational” laws. 
     So in our country every activity should be legal or not. I do not want our New Mexico State Police in gun battles protecting New Mexico citizens from the national Homeland Security forces over what is legal statewide but not nationally. Read the full column