New Mexico Governor OKs Medical Marijuana Bill

April 02, 2007

Shaveta Bansal, All Headline News

Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico on Monday signed into law a bill that would allow the state's doctors to recommend marijuana to some chronically ill patients to relieve nausea and pain. With that, New Mexico will become the 12th U.S. state to legalize the use of marijuana and Richardson will become the first presidential candidate to sign such a controversial measure, according to the Drug Policy Alliance of New Mexico.

The new law, which comes into effect starting July, will provide "a humane option for New Mexicans living with cancer, HIV and other serious medical conditions," Richardson said, according to the AP reports.

Critics of the bill had contended that the law would pass a wrong message to youngsters over pot usage and increase the risk of illegal drug usage.

The federal government declares marijuana an illegal controlled substance with no accepted medical use.

Under the law, a panel of eight medical experts and will be created to supervise the program. Patients with an authentic prescription from their doctors could apply to the state agency, which would issue identification cards.

Other states that allow medical use of marijuana are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

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