Legislation that would have expanded New Mexico’s medical cannabis program has been vetoed by Governor Susana Martinez.
House Bill 527 would have added opioid use disorder as a condition that qualifies someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient, given they received a recommendation from a physician and registered with the state.
In her veto letter, Governor Martinez said that allowing medical cannabis for opioid use disorder is “problematic”.
“[I]ncluding“opioid use disorder” to the list of qualifying conditions for which an individual may enroll in the program is problematic”, says Martinez. In addition to “bypassing the authority of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board”, Martinez says that “Including “opioid use disorder” independently will likely cause a rapid increase in program enrollment, which the program is currently unable to sustain.”
New Mexico legislation that would triple the number of qualifying medical marijuana conditions, and prevent parents from losing custody of their children for being a medical cannabis patient, has been passed by the state’s full legislature
House Bill 527 passed the House of Representatives on March 9th with a 45 to 16 vote, and was passed by the Senate on March 17th with a 28 to 9 vote. It now goes to Governor Susana Martinez for consideration.
The proposed law would add 14 new medical marijuana conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, bringing the total number of conditions from 7, to 21. In addition, the measure “would not allow children to be removed and placed into state custody based solely on an individual’s participation in the medical cannabis program”, and “would also not allow someone to be precluded from receiving an anatomical gift due to that person’s participation in the program.”
Below are the 14 new medical marijuana conditions that would be added if House Bill 527 becomes law:
New Mexico’s Medical Advisory Board voted 5 to 1 to recommend medical cannabis for “opiate use disorder” and Alzheimer’s disease.
The board also voted to allow medical cannabis to be recommend via telemedicine. This includes physicians meeting with patients through Skype and other online programs. The recommendations go to the Department of Health which has the final say on whether to accept them.
Officials believe that there are roughly 33,000 people in New Mexico with opiate use disorder. This is a huge increase from just a year ago, when the number was around 18,000.
The board also stated that the number of plants patients are allowed to cultivate should be increased.