Lawmakers propose allowing medical use of marijuana

February 06, 2005

Associated Press, KOB-TV

SANTA FE - Marijuana could be used legally for medical purposes by people with debilitating illnesses under a proposal in the Legislature.

Senators Cisco McSorley and Gerald Ortiz y Pino, both from Albuquerque, are sponsoring legislation to legalize the drug.

The measure would cover patients seriously ill with cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS and certain spinal cord injuries.

Under the legislation, a doctor would have to certify that someone suffers from a qualifying illness and the patient would register with the state Health Department to obtain the marijuana.

Among those supporting the measure is a 23-year-old from Albuquerque who was diagnosed with cancer six years ago. Erin Armstrong says she wants the option of using marijuana to ease her chronic nausea. For now she takes a prescription drug to control the sickness but it costs more than $3,000 a month.

Eleven states allow the use of marijuana as medicine, including Colorado.

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