New Mexico patients may apply for medical marijuana on July 1

June 28, 2007

Donald Jaramillo, Cibola Beacon (NM)

The New Mexico Department of Health will begin accepting applications for the medical marijuana program starting July 1.

Written certifications from medical providers and applications from primary caregivers will also be accepted if a patient is unable to act on his or her own behalf.

To verify application information, the department will call medical providers, check their medical licenses and in some cases, review the medical records that support the condition.

In order to qualify for the medical marijuana program, patients' primary care providers must certify that the patient has one of the eligible medical conditions and that the condition is debilitating, as well as that the benefit of medical marijuana will outweigh the potential consequences.

According to the state law that was signed by Gov. Richardson this year, the following conditions are qualifiers for medical marijuana: cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS.

Patients can also petition the department to add new conditions to the list of qualifying conditions. A Medical Advisory Committee will review the petitions and make recommendations to the Department of Health. The department will then make the final decision.

Beginning July 1, applications will be available on the department's website, www.nmhealth.org.



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