cannabisnews.com: NM's Medical Marijuana Law Will Continue for Now
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NM's Medical Marijuana Law Will Continue for Now
Posted by CN Staff on January 31, 2011 at 15:35:54 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Santa Fe, N.M. -- New Mexico's medical marijuana program will continue for now, although the state's new governor has made it clear she does not support the law that allows people with certain medical conditions to use the drug. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who took office Jan. 1, said during her campaign the state law puts state employees in the position of violating federal law and she'd like it repealed. But she's also said New Mexico has pressing budget issues, so repeal is not a priority in the 2011 legislative session.
Martinez's nominee for health secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres, would say only that the program "continues to function according to current state law." The Department of Health oversees it.The law's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Gerry Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque, said he hopes the new administration won't push for its repeal in the future, either."It may be after she's been in office a while, she looks at the program and decides to just leave it alone," said Ortiz y Pino, who doesn't believe repeal would go anywhere without the governor actively pushing it.Republican Rep. Bill Rehm of Albuquerque would like to see the law rolled back. But Rehm said that while there's a chance the House would vote for repeal, he doesn't believe the Senate would."It's not a fight I'm going to take on this year," he said.Rehm voted against the state's medical marijuana law because he believes there are approved medications that can be used instead. Besides, he said, "it's such a crude method of getting the drug by smoking, and we already know that smoking's bad."New Mexico's medical cannabis law went into effect July 1, 2007. Then-Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil described it as "carefully crafted to make it a conservative, medical program" that would not lead to de facto legalization.But that's the worry of Rehm and other lawmakers who believe the program has been opened up to too many medical conditions.Only patients with conditions approved by the health secretary can legally use medical marijuana. New Mexico started out with seven approved conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and HIV-AIDS.Now there are 16, plus some people in hospice care can qualify. Vigil rejected recommendations from the program's Medical Advisory Board to add seven others in 2009 and 2010.New Mexico doctors do not prescribe medical marijuana, but rather certify that patients have one of the approved conditions and that standard treatment doesn't work for them. Patients then apply to the state, and if approved, receive a registry ID card and information on how to contact nonprofit growers licensed to supply marijuana.Senate Republican Leader Stuart Ingle of Portales said he voted for the program as a way to help terminally ill people deal with pain. He knew dying patients who said they were helped by marijuana  then obtained illegally, he said."That's the way the program was sold," Ingle said.But he and Roswell Republican Sen. Rod Adair, who also voted for the program, are troubled by its growing number of patients, which Adair said is many times the estimate legislators were given when they passed the law.As of Jan. 27, New Mexico had 3,198 active medical cannabis patients, with nearly a third of them using it for post-traumatic stress. Some 440 people were using it for cancer.A provision for adding new medical conditions to the program "was never intended to be liberally interpreted," said Ingle, who believes Vigil approved too many.Adair worries "we are not stringently restricting the recipients . to those who are suffering the acute pain, the insoluble pain and end-of-life pain for which the program is intended."Vigil had said he approved conditions based on recommendations from the advisory board and scientific findings that those particular problems could be helped by medical cannabis.Ortiz y Pino believes Vigil and his staff were cautious about opening up the program. Vigil refused, for example, to add depression as an approved condition, Ortiz y Pino said."It's so tightly regulated you're not going to see here the abuses that some other states might have seen," he said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: January 31, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #10 posted by weedoflife on February 01, 2011 at 16:55:37 PT:
Protect your state employees and mmj patients
Gov.Martinez instead of worrying about state employees breaking federal law she should be Protecting them by setting up a commitee to straighten out there states Controled substance act ,go through the 8 critia questions to determine its medicine and place it in schedual 2-5. Then have her States attorney general file a petion to reclassify on federal level to conform with there state laws or to be exempt from federal CSA for marijuana for their state.Once STATES start filing it will change everything for everyone.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on February 01, 2011 at 16:15:31 PT
I'll bet you $10 to a doughnut!
I'll bet you if we looked into her campaign war chest we would find beaucoup bucks donated by a certain special interest?If you buy some idiot a career you are likely to inspire some pretty demonstrative loyalty!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on February 01, 2011 at 10:42:52 PT
Susana Martinez
I was so hoping she wouldn't win. It's so disappointing. One of those people with a strange burr under their saddle about cannabis... AND a big boss of everybody busybody. It seems we have another of those Queen of Hearts "ruling" in New Mexico now.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 01, 2011 at 08:03:40 PT
dongenero
Isn't that the truth!
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on February 01, 2011 at 07:38:11 PT
Gov. Susana Martinez
Another self-righteous, self-involved, narcissistic conservative that is so sure they've got Everything figured out. They're usually the most clueless.Or, just the common brand of manipulative, disingenuous conservative that hypocritically moralizes against others for political gain with their ironically hypocritical "moralist" base?New Mexico? sigh
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on January 31, 2011 at 22:36:50 PT
under the bus
>>>>>>Some 440 people were using it for cancer.What do these Republicans have to say to them - you're faking it?They're more than willing to sacrifice 440 people. 
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on January 31, 2011 at 21:40:36 PT
Oh, come on!!!!
I don't like it, and we have no money. Sounds like there is a solution at hand...When the money starts to roll in, as they huff and guff, it will be too hard to say no. Money talks, bullsh*t walks. It seems to be a recurring theme. Let us act like we are against it before we are!!! Oh, it makes no sense.... OOP, cents!!!
Montana Biotech Lab Located in Bozeman, MT
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on January 31, 2011 at 21:31:05 PT
Repeal? Who says Repubs and Demo's are the same?
Perhaps Republicans can just repeal it for Republicans.I know this is a bipartisan issue at times but it seems like the REpub's don't get it and perhaps shouldn't.Perhaps Democratic politicians should sponsor a bill to repeal medical use of cannabis from Republicans. (Bi-pertisan supported) HB(negative)-420.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 31, 2011 at 16:46:50 PT
duzt
Veterans in state's with medical marijuana laws on the books should be ok.VA Right To OK Pot Use in States Where It's Legal July 30, 2010 Source: Denver Post Colorado -- The decision by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to allow patients to use medical marijuana in the 14 states where it is legal, including Colorado, is a humane and just call. URL: http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread25839.shtml
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Comment #1 posted by duzt on January 31, 2011 at 15:50:17 PT
PTSD
We have quite a few vets that come through our collective with PTSD. I sure hope these elected folks aren't saying that those vets needs aren't legitimate, that would be absurd. Cannabis gets rid of my dreams (and my inability to sleep), it also has controlled my night sweats and crazy nightmares. I sleep well now and many folks with PTSD have found similar results. I've always wondered why the people in power think they need to decide what is right for us. If I'm not hurting anybody, leave me alone. It's that simple.
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