Medical Marijuana Bill Unanimously Passes the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee

Press Release January 23, 2006
Media Contact

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

Santa Fe – The Senate Public Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act, SB 258, this afternoon. The bill would allow qualified patients suffering from certain serious illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy, to use medical marijuana for relief of their symptoms.

“For me, medical marijuana is truly a matter of life and death,” said Essie Dubonet, who spoke during today’s hearing. Ms. Dubonet suffers from serious side effects due to HIV/AIDS medications.

“I think this is a bill that will not allow in any way the recreational use of marijuana,” said Senator Steve Komadina, R-Sandoval. “This can help people in ways that other prescription medications do not.”

“I’ve run this bill my contacts in Washington, D.C., and they’ve told me that this is the first true medical marijuana bill they’ve seen,” said Senator Komadina.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque said today, “Children don’t try heroin because morphine is available in hospitals. They’re not going to try marijuana because it’s legally available for the sick and dying.”

“New Mexicans have tried to pass a medical marijuana bill for thirty years,” said Reena Szczepanski, Director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “It’s time to get this done so our most vulnerable citizens will have protection under state law.”

The Lynn Pierson Compassion Use Act, SB 258, now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee. That hearing could happen as early as Wednesday, January 25th. Please call Reena Szczepanski at 699-0798 or Melissa Milam at 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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