Changes To New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program Would Hurt Patients

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New Mexico's medical marijuana program has been under attack lately, with proposed changes that would drastically alter the program. One of the proposed changes would be reducing the number of plants a patient can have by half. Another change would involve what kind of product testing would be required for producers. Licensed producers would be allowed to grow more plants if the changes were adopted, but that increase in plants would be accompanied by new rules. Producers have pointed out that to comply with the new rules would more than offset the benefit of growing more plants.

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Another rule would make it illegal for parents or caregivers to grow marijuana for adolescent patients, which would mandate that they purchase it only from a licensed producer. One of those producers, Len Goodman, doesn't think that is a good idea. Per Santa Fe New Mexican:

Goodman said one of the main purposes of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which created the state's Medical Cannabis Program, was to allow patients to possess an adequate supply of medicine --- defined only in terms of quantity --- without fear of legal prosecution. The new rules would define "adequate supply" as cannabis that was "derived solely" from state-licensed producers," something Goodman says would punish those who buy cannabis from other sources, due to price or access obstacles.

"It won't change what people do," he said. "It just removes their legal protection and puts them at risk."

A public hearing has been set for Monday to allow public comment. If you are a patient in the New Mexico medical marijuana program, or if you are a supporter, I highly encourage you to attend and let your voice be heard. Below are details about the public hearing:

WHAT:   Interviews with impacted stakeholders

WHEN:   Monday, June 16th, 12pm (or immediately following) the hearing

WHERE: Harold Runnels Building, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, 87502 (Please call Jessica Gelay @ 505-573-4422 to schedule an interview)

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