Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (505)983-3277
The Senate quickly approved a House floor amendment to the Senate substitute bill for SB 523, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act today, sending the bill to Gov. Bill Richardson’s desk for his signature.
The House floor amendment states that medical marijuana cannot be distributed within 300 feet of any church, school or day-care center. Once signed, New Mexico will become the twelfth state to legalize the use of medical cannabis and only the fourth state Legislature to enact such a measure.
The New Mexico House of Representatives passed the SB 523 by a 36-31 margin yesterday. 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. During debate on the House floor, the bill was amended, requiring it to go back to the Senate. Last week, the Senate endorsed the measure by a 32-3 margin.
Richardson has voiced his strong support for the bill and has indicated he will sign it.
“This puts us one step closer. The Governor’s support on this issue has not wavered and we are look forward to him signing the bill,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico.