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Governor Johnson Seeks To Revive Medical Marijuana Program

Tuesday, 30 November 1999

Governor Gary Johnson has asked the state health secretary to draft a measure to restart a medical marijuana program in New Mexico.
Passed by New Mexico law makers in 1978, the Lynn Pierson Act allowed for the medical use of marijuana to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy and for glaucoma. The law calls for state health secretary Alex Valdez to put together a review board comprised of a psychiatrist, an ophthalmologist and an oncologist to approve patients and their physicians. The review board can also approve other medical marijuana uses. About 250 patients legally used marijuana under the state law until 1986, when lawmakers stopped funding the $50,000 a year program. The current legislation would appropriate $150,000 for the program.
"I'd probably vote to fund it if it's just a straight vote to fund," said Rep. Max Coll (D), vice chairman of the legislative finance committee. "We passed that (Pierson Act) to help people who are badly in need of that kind of help. I think in those kinds of cases it's OK."
For more information, please contact Alex Valdez, State Health Secretary at (505) 827-2613.