Medical-Marijuana Bill Goes To Senate

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 1, 2001.

  1. By Barry Massey, The Associated Press
    Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

    Gov. Gary Johnson's proposal to legalize the medical use of marijuana is heading to the Senate for consideration.
    The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed the measure on a 6-3 vote late Wednesday night.

    "What we're talking about is trying to help people who are quite ill," said Sen. Roman Maes, D-Santa Fe, who sponsored the proposal.

    Patients with debilitating medical conditions - cancer, AIDS or glaucoma, for example - could be eligible for the program.

    Health Secretary Alex Valdez said the department would approve patients for the use of medical marijuana - "cannabis," as it's called in the legislation. A physician must first certify the patient as having a medical condition that qualifies for the program.

    The department would decide where to obtain the marijuana, how much a patient could legally possess and how it would be distributed to patients.

    However, Valdez said, it would not be legal for patients to grow their own marijuana, as allowed in some other states with medical-marijuana laws.

    It's possible, Valdez said, the state might have a university - such as New Mexico State University - or a private company supply the drug.

    The committee chairman, Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, voted against the proposal and said the legislation left the department to make too many key decisions in designing the program.

    For example, Sanchez questioned how the department would deal with a New Mexico resident participating in the program who moves out of the state but maintains his or her legal residence in New Mexico.

    Valdez said those matters would be spelled out in rules and regulations developed by the department. The bill called for an advisory board of medical professionals to help guide the department on requirements and procedures for the program.

    The committee agreed to revise the provision to require the advisory board be made up of nine physicians recommended to the department by the New Mexico Medical Society. The nominees would be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

    Source: Santa Fe New Mexican (NM)
    Author: Barry Massey, The Associated Press
    Published: March 1, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 The Santa Fe New Mexican
    Address: 202 E Marcy, Santa Fe, N.M. 87501
    Fax: (505) 986-3040
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