Vote keeps medical marijuana bill alive

February 25, 2007


A House panel today kept alive a bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

The Agriculture and Water Resources Committee voted 5-2 to pass the bill.

Its sponsor, Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said the committee had been the bill's biggest hurdle and he's optimistic it will reach the full House for a vote.

The measure already has passed the Senate.

The bill would set up a program in the state Department of Health under which patients with certain debilitating conditions or in hospice care could be certified to use marijuana.

Patients could not grow the drug but rather would obtain it from the Department of Health, which would have it grown in a secure, in-state facility.

Gov. Bill Richardson supports the bill.

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