ALERT: #465 Will New Mexico Repeal Its Medical Marijuana Law?



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #465 – Saturday, February 26th, 2011

It seems more likely than not that the New Mexico Legislature will repeal the state’s medical marijuana law.

New Mexico became the 12th state in the country to allow legal access
to medical cannabis. The bill, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use
Act, passed the New Mexico State Legislature and was signed into law
in the spring of 2007.

News clippings about this effort to repeal the law will be found at

If the law is repealed it will encourage similar efforts in other
medical marijuana states.

Please do whatever you can to help stop this effort. Tell your
friends. Forward this alert or send links to it. Support
organizations opposing the repeal effort.

Below is an Associated Press wire authored by Sue Major Holmes which
provides details.

Please note that the alert “Will Montana Repeal Its Medical Marijuana
Law?” is still valid as there has been no final decision by their

Verified facts about medicinal cannabis are found at



NM Lawmaker Wants to Repeal Medical Marijuana

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A freshman New Mexico lawmaker who’s a high school
teacher in civilian life is trying to repeal the state’s medical marijuana law.

The law “sends a bad message to kids, that somehow marijuana is good
for you,” said Republican Rep. Jim Smith of Sandia Park, who teaches
at East Mountain Charter High School east of Albuquerque.

Gov. Susana Martinez said during her campaign last year the state’s
medical marijuana law put state employees in the position of
violating federal law. The federal government classifies marijuana as
a Schedule 1 drug, a category reserved for drugs that have “no
currently accepted medical use.”

But after taking office Jan. 1, the Republican governor focused on
New Mexico’s pressing budget issues and said repeal was not a
priority in the 2011 legislative session.

Smith said, however, he was encouraged by an effort in Montana to
repeal that state’s medical marijuana law. Montana House Speaker Mike
Milburn argues the multimillion dollar marijuana industry has gone
far beyond what voters envisioned when they voted for it in 2004.

Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said she would sign a repeal of New
Mexico’s medical marijuana law if it reached her desk.

Some legislators who voted for the law originally said earlier this
month they were troubled by the expansion in medical conditions that
qualify for the program and the growing number of people using it.

Only patients with conditions approved by the health secretary can
legally use medical marijuana. When New Mexico’s law went into effect
in July 2007, the state had seven approved conditions, including
cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and HIV-AIDS. Now
there are 16, plus some people in hospice care can qualify. The
program is overseen by the state Department of Health.

As of Feb. 16, the day before Smith introduced his bill, New Mexico
had 3,218 active patients.

Smith’s measure is expected to be heard next week by the House
Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, whose vice chairman is
Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas of Albuquerque, who sponsored the
medical marijuana law in the House.

Maestas said the program has proved to be more valuable than
expected, with soldiers returning from war using it to treat post
traumatic stress disorder.

“Moving medical marijuana out of the criminal justice realm is
difficult for many people to accept, but I believe the vast majority
are in agreement it was a great decision and should not be rolled
back,” he said.

Smith said it’s hard to argue against people in pain who say medical
marijuana makes them feel better, but he believes there are medical

He said he’s encouraged by the 27 co-sponsors, both Republicans and
Democrats, who signed onto the one-page bill when it was introduced
earlier this month.

“The people I got to sign the bill were very passionate about wanting
to get rid of medical marijuana,” Smith said.


Prepared by: Richard Lake, Focus Alert Specialist

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