Governor Richardson Includes Medical Marijuana Bill on 2006 Call

Press Release January 17, 2006
Media Contact

Reena Szczepanski at 505-699-0798 or Melissa Milam at 505-983-3277

Santa Fe – Governor Bill Richardson announced this evening that he will include the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act on the call for the current session.

“We are so proud to have a Governor who’s willing to stand up for compassion,” said Reena Szczepanski, Director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “We are so thrilled to have a chance this year and we have every reason to expect success.”

“I thank the Governor for giving me another chance at life,” says Essie DeBonet, who suffers from serious side effects due to HIV/AIDS medications. “I pray for him, and I’m so thankful because I might not have another year to wait for this bill.”

The legislation would allow qualified patients suffering from certain serious illnesses to use marijuana for relief of their symptoms. The law would require a patient to receive a recommendation from their doctor and then apply to participate in a program through the Department of Health. The DOH would develop regulations for licensed producers within the state, identifying standards for safety, security and distribution.

Senator Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, is the Senate sponsor of the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act. Last year’s bill, also sponsored by Senator McSorley, passed the Senate 27-11 but was stalled in the House.

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

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