Few would get marijuana meds

March 13, 2007

, KRQE News 13 (NM)

The medical marijuana bill expected to become law would affect an estimated 50 to 200 ill New Mexicans who would be allowed to smoke pot to alleviate their suffering. 

The bill passed the House passed the bill Tuesday with a minor amendment expected to win Senate approval.  After that, it goes to Gov. Bill Richardson who has said he will sign it.

The New Mexico Department of Health would administer the program and has until Oct 1 to have the system in place.

Doctors then would apply to the DOH to prescribe marijuana for a patient.

The department expects most of those patients to be suffering from cancer, HIV and glaucoma

The department also said it expects to meet some of the organizational deadlines of October first.

“I think we will be able to have rules in place,” Dr. Steve Jenison, DOH infectious disease director, said.  “Whether or not we'll be able to have a supply in place and have defined what a supply will look, like I don't know.”

The department will also have to find people to grow the marijuana, likely businesses that are experienced in growing herbs for medical applications.

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