Gov. Richardson Issues Statement Supporting New Mexico Medical Marijuana Bill

Press Release February 5, 2007
Media Contact

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (505) 983-3277

Santa Fe–Gov. Bill Richardson today issued a statement supporting New Mexico’s medical marijuana bill, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (SB 238). Richardson urged the Legislature to pass the bill during this year’s session.

The bill would allow qualified patients suffering from certain illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy, to use medical cannabis for relief of their symptoms. SB 238 will be heard on the Senate Floor today.

“I continue to support a medical marijuana bill that includes proper safeguards to prevent abuse,” Richardson said in a statement released today. “I will work with legislators to get it passed this session to provide this option for New Mexicans suffering from debilitating diseases.”

Richardson has gone on the record supporting a medical marijuana bill in the past. His continued support for the bill is welcome news to New Mexicans suffering from debilitating conditions and to advocates of the bill.

“We are grateful that the Governor continues to support the bill and has pledged to work with the Legislature to ensure its passage,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “Governor Richardson recognizes that this is a medical issue and that the strength of this bill lies in its safeguards to prevent potential abuse.”

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday by a 7-3 margin. It was approved unanimously in the Senate Public Affairs Committee last week. SB 238, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-District 12, has 14 co-sponsors, including Senate Minority Leader, Stuart Ingle, R-Portales.

“I am thrilled that Gov. Richardson continues to show compassion for seriously ill New Mexicans,” said Erin Armstrong, who suffers from advanced thyroid cancer. “I hope the Legislature also recognizes that many New Mexicans can’t wait any longer for relief.”

Please call Reena Szczepanski at 505-699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at 505-983-3277 for the latest information on SB 238.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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