Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee by a Margin of 7-3

Press Release February 4, 2007
Media Contact

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

Santa Fe — The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Lynn and Erin Compassionate use Act (SB 238) by a 7-3 margin this afternoon. 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.

“On behalf of New Mexico’s patient population, I would like to thank the legislators for their compassion, moral courage, and firm commitment to patients’ rights. I am thrilled to see that our elected officials are prioritizing the lives of New Mexicans over rhetoric and archaic policies,” said Erin Armstrong, who suffers from advanced thyroid cancer.

“Medical marijuana is a matter of life and death for me,” said Essie DeBonet, who suffers from complications associated with HIV/AIDS. “I do not remember what it’s like to sit and enjoy a meal without a wave of nausea. The only thing that keeps me eating is medical marijuana.

“This bill represents the best of years of debate on the issue and it represents the best of the 11 states that have similar measures,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “There are patients living with serious illnesses that cannot wait any longer to have medical cannabis made available to provide them with relief of their debilitating symptoms.”

SB 238 now heads to the full Senate for approval. A floor vote on the bill could be scheduled for as early as Thursday, February 8. Please call Reena Szczepanski at 505-669-0798 or Tommy McDonald at 505-983-3277 for the latest information on committee hearings.

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

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