Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798</p>
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's office issued a letter dated August 6, 2007, which summarized potential risks for state employees implementing the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. The letter stated in part, "…;we must caution that the Department and its employees, or representatives acting on behalf of the Department, may be subject to federal prosecution for implementing the Compassionate Use Act."
"This statement stands in grave contrast to statements from the majority of Attorneys General from medical marijuana states over the last few years. All of these offices have concluded that programs similar to what the New Mexico Department of Health has implemented, i.e. application processes and registry identification cards, should be continued and that employees should not fear federal prosecution," said
In over a decade of medical marijuana laws, no state employee has ever been federally prosecuted for implementing state medical marijuana laws. A letter issued by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer in 2005 concluded that the federal gover
"It is disturbing that our Attorney General would put forward the notion that state workers could be violating federal law simply by issuing ID cards. It's a simplistic analysis. He had an opportunity to support the will of the
During debate in the Legislature, advocates informed lawmakers that the Act would not protect patients from federal law. Patients must decide for themselves if they are willing to risk federal prosecution to gain relief from serious medical conditions. The federal gover
"The Department of Health has been proceeding in a careful and deliberate manner with the Medical Cannabis Program. Its employees deserve support and thorough guidance in return," said Szczepanski.