420 Magazine Background

New Mexico Won't Supply Marijuana

Cozmo

New Member
New Mexico won't be growing its own after all.

The state Health Department said Wednesday it will not comply with the portion of the new medical marijuana law that requires it to oversee production and distribution of the drug.

"The Department of Health will not subject its employees to potential federal prosecution, and therefore will not distribute or produce medical marijuana," said Dr. Alfredo Vigil, who heads the agency.

The department will continue to certify patients as eligible to possess marijuana, protecting them from state prosecution, Vigil said.

Thirty patients have been approved to participate in the program since the law took effect July 1, according to a department spokeswoman. The law was passed by the 2007 Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Medical marijuana advocates urged the agency to reconsider its stance on producing marijuana so that patients would be able to get the drug from a source that was legal under state law.

"I remember certain legislators talking about how they didn't want their grandmother to have to go into some alley and deal with some criminal element," said Reena Szczepanski, a lobbyist for Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico who helped push the legislation through this year.

Szczepanski also said the department is "leaving itself vulnerable to a lawsuit" for not complying with the law.

"I hope that the department is not closing the door to production and distribution entirely," Szczepanski said.

New Mexico - alone among the dozen states with medical marijuana laws - requires that the state license marijuana producers and develop a distribution system. The rules were to be issued by Oct. 1.

Attorney General Gary King cautioned last week that the agency and its employees could face federal prosecution for implementing the new law, and that the attorney general can't defend state workers in criminal cases.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but medical marijuana advocates say no state employee ever has been federally prosecuted for implementing a state medical marijuana law.

King should provide "more meaningful legal direction to the department," Szczepanski said.

Under the current program, certified patients may possess a three-month supply of marijuana, including plants.

The department will go ahead with the process of making permanent rules governing that part of the program, said spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer.

"What we're doing now is what every other state is doing that has a medical marijuana law. . . . Those states have set a precedent in being able to successfully do that," she said.

Going beyond that by overseeing a production and distribution system could put state employees at greater risk of federal prosecution, she said.


News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
Author: Associated Press
Contact: editor@abqtrib.com
Copyright: 2007 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Website: New Mexico won't supply marijuana to medical patients
 

merickson

New Member
I can see the headline:
"DEA declares New Mexico a Corrupt Organization; invokes RICO."
 

zolar

New Member
seems funny that a legal regulated system that is paying fees and taxes and probably would give the state a big revenue stream to build schools and so forth is beyond possible in these folks minds my mind is made up don't confuse me with facts
 
Top Bottom