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New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program Moves Forward


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One month after New Mexico's medical cannabis law went into effect, the program is moving forward with the Department of Health registering patients and appointing advisors.

The state health department issued the first temporary patient identification cards July 1, and now 46 applications have been received with 17 patients registered. Applications for identification cards for both patients and their primary caregivers are available at the Department of Health's website.

Reena Szczepanski, director of DPA New Mexico, said, "After years of fighting to pass legislation, it is wonderful that registered medical marijuana patients are finally receiving protection in our state."

The Department of Health recently finalized appointment of the Medical Advisory Committee, a board of eight certified physicians that will advise the Department on developing and implementing the rules for the new program.

The Committee will also meet at least twice a year to conduct public meetings and review petitions to allow other debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from the medical use of cannabis. The current rules of the program restrict eligibility to people with cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and a particular type of spinal cord damage.

The Medical Advisory Committee is scheduled to hold its first public hearing next month. More information on the Committee is available from the Department of Health.

The next major step will be the establishment of rules and regulations for the Medical Cannabis Program by October 1, which will create a framework for the state-licensed production and distribution of medical marijuana for registered patients.

Production and distribution overseen by the Department would ensure a safe and secure supply of medicine for patients, particularly for those individuals who do not know where or how to access cannabis.

For questions regarding qualification for the program or the application process, please contact Melissa Milam with the Department of Health at (505) 827-2321.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Drug Policy Alliance
Contact: nm@drugpolicy.org
Copyright: 2007 Drug Policy Alliance
Website: Drug Policy Alliance
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