Medical Marijuana Remains an Important Issue to New Mexicans

Press Release September 24, 2006
Media Contact

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 983-3277

Santa Fe community members will gather at a forum on Thursday, September 28, to hear advocates talk about the fight for legal access to medical marijuana in New Mexico. Speakers include Reena Szczepanski, Director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, community advocates, Sage Davis and Hank Tafoya, and tentatively, Senator Steve Komadina, who has been invited to attend. The speakers will discuss how proposed legislation will work, prospects for safe and legal access in New Mexico, and why this issue is so important to New Mexicans. Twelve states have passed legislation to protect patients who use medical marijuana. The forum, which runs from 6 – 8 p.m., will be held at the Los Griegos Health and Social Services Center in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

Earlier this year, legislation that would have granted seriously ill and dying patients in New Mexico legal access to medical marijuana was placed on the legislative agenda by Governor Bill Richardson, who stated, “After speaking with many seriously ill New Mexicans, I have decided to include this bill on my call. This issue is too important and there are too many New Mexicans suffering to delay this issue any further.”

The bill sailed through the New Mexico Senate on a final vote of 34-6, supported by the majority of Democrats and Republicans. However, during its first House hearing in the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, a committee member stated that the bill had been sent there to kill it, and the bill was tabled by a one-vote margin. Ultimately, the bill made it one step further and passed the House Judiciary Committee 7-3, but never received a House floor vote. In 2005 the bill was also stopped at the same point in the legislative process, falling victim to a conflict with an unrelated bill.

Albuquerque Event: Medical Marijuana Forum

Who: Reena Szczepanski, Director of Drug Policy Alliance of NM; Sage Davis and Hank Tafoya, community advocates; Senator Steve Komadina (tentative)
When: Thursday, September 28, 2006
Time: 6:00pm — 8:00pm
Where: Los Griegos Health and Social Service Center
1231 Candelaria Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM
~ Just West of 12th St. NW ~
Contact: For more information call 505-983-3277

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

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