New Mexico: Governor Backs Off Pledge To Repeal State’s Medical Marijuana Law

Santa Fe, NM: Repealing New Mexico’s three-year-old medical marijuana law is “not a priority in the 2011 legislative session” for the state’s newly elected governor, Republican Susana Martinez, the Associated Press reported this week. Governor Martinez had pledged to rescind the law while campaigning for the office last year.

Martinez’s nominee for health secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres, told the Associated Press that the state-run program, which presently authorizes some 3,200 patients to use cannabis medically, “continues to function according to current state law.”

New Mexico is one of fifteen states recognizing the physician-supervised use of cannabis. To date, no legislature has repealed such a law.

The law’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Gerry Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque, told the AP that he “doesn’t believe repeal would go anywhere without the governor actively pushing it.”

In November, officials from the New Mexico Department of Health – which oversees the state’s program – finalized regulatory changes increasing the number of licensed medical marijuana producers to 25, and increasing the amount of cannabis such producers may cultivate at one time to 150 plants.

Under New Mexico law, authorized patients may grow their own cannabis or obtain it from a state-licensed facility.

Also this week, in Montana, lawmakers on Wednesday heard testimony regarding House Bill 161, which seeks to repeal that state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: