New Mexico Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill by 32-3 Margin

Press Release March 9, 2007
Media Contact

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

A New Mexico Senate substitute bill for SB 523, the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act, passed the Senate by a 32-3 margin today, sending the bill to the House of Representatives.

During Senate floor debate, bill sponsor, Sen. Shannon Robinson, D-District 17, moved to pass the Senate floor substitute for SB 523, which is mostly a duplicate of SB 238, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. SB 238 was recently killed in a contentious House floor vote last Thursday. SB 523 includes language specifically providing for the topical use of cannabis including patches, ointments, and suppositories.

Senator Adair, R-District 33, spoke in strong support of the bill. “This sends the signal that there are people who care about those who are suffering,” he said.

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act passed the Senate by a 34-7 margin last month. It narrowly failed in the House by a 36-33 margin after intense debate. SB 523 will be assigned to House committees as early as tomorrow.

“It’s clear that the people who are in support of this issue will not give up,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “It’s not just the public who are in favor of this. Our legislators support medical marijuana for the people of New Mexico. We expect this to receive a fair hearing from the House and we expect the House to uphold the will of the people of New Mexico.”

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

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