Gov. Orders Agency To Plan For Medical Marijuana Program

August 16, 2007

, KOAT TV7 Albuquerque

Gov. Bill Richardson is ordering the state Health Department to move ahead with the planning of a medical marijuana program, despite the agency's worries about possible federal prosecution.

The department announced earlier this week it would not implement provisions of the law that call for the agency to oversee the production and distribution of marijuana to eligible patients.

On Friday, Richardson directed the agency to continue planning to fully implement the program.

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The law took effect last month.It requires the department to issue rules by October for licensing marijuana producers and developing a system for distributing the drug to qualified patients.

The law allows marijuana for pain or other symptoms of debilitating illnesses.

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