Judge Rules Against State In Suit Over Medical Marijuana

NEW MEXICO:  The New Mexico Department of Health may be reviewing its rules for medical marijuana patients after a judge ruled that the agency cannot require them to exhaust “standard treatments” before they receive cannabis.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that District Judge David Thomas gave the ruling late Wednesday.

The suit focused on post-traumatic stress disorder, with the state arguing that there was a dearth of controlled studies focusing on the effects of cannabis on people with the condition. Thomas said in his ruling that any concerns about the appropriateness of the treatment should have been considered when the department approved post-traumatic stress for cannabis.

The Ups And Downs Of New Mexican Cannabis

NEW MEXICO:  Earlier this month, New Mexico State Senate voted to pass a historic cannabis decriminalization bill that allows for residents to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and removes the risk of jail time for up to 8 ounces. The state has become the one of the forerunners for marijuana legislation reform, catching the eyes of other states looking to follow in their footsteps.

While the state may seem to be moving forward on the decriminalization front, they are unfortunately taking two steps back when it comes to their medical marijuana program and the regulations affect growers and patients.

In fact, these new regulations are so debilitating to the states medical marijuana program that 19 of the 23 licensed, nonprofit growers that operate in New Mexico are suing the state Department of Health and Secretary Retta Ward, claiming that the new rules should be struck down and marked as void.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the growers claim that the new regulations, put in place in February after a year of deliberations and two public opinion hearings, are “arbitrary and capricious, are not evidence-based and are unenforceable because they exceed the departments authority.”


Medical Marijuana Growers Sue New Mexico Over New Rules

NEW MEXICO:  New rules for New Mexico‘s medical marijuana program are being challenged in court.

The Santa Fe New Mexican (http://goo.gl/fMea57 ) reports that a lawsuit filed by 19 growers against the state Department of Health contends the rules are arbitrary and capricious, not based in evidence and go beyond the department’s authority.

The department adopted the new rules last month after a lengthy public process. The lawsuit was filed Monday in state District Court.


Ballot Proposal On Marijuana Advances In Santa Fe

NEW MEXICO:  The city clerk in Santa Fe says activists have submitted enough valid voter signatures to force a public vote on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, if the City Council doesn’t approve it outright.

ProgressNow New Mexico and the Drug Policy Alliance submitted petitions last month. Activists needed 5,763 valid signatures from registered city voters.

The Santa Fe proposal mirrors one which the groups tried unsuccessfully to get on the ballot in Albuquerque.

The proposal would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $25.