TV Ad Attacks Susana Martinez for Threat to Repeal Medical Marijuana Program

Press Release October 24, 2010
Media Contact

Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384 or Sheila Lewis at (505) 470-3535

An ad featuring three New Mexican medical marijuana patients will run statewide leading up to Election Day on Tuesday, November 2. The patients are terrified that they will lose their medicine if Republican candidate Susana Martinez is elected.

The three patients in the ad are a disabled Navy veteran, a disabled construction worker, and a senior citizen with AIDS.

The New Mexico legislature legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 2007. One of the keystones of New Mexico ‘s law is a state-run production and distribution system to help qualified patients access medical marijuana.

“New Mexico has the best and tightest run medical marijuana program in the country,” said Steven Jenison, MD former medical director for the New Mexico Department of Health, “Ultimately doctors – not politicians – know what ‘s best for patients who are suffering and need relief.”

Republican Susana Martinez has vowed to repeal the medical marijuana law and wants to deny relief to suffering New Mexicans whose doctors recommend the medicine. “I would work to repeal the state ‘s medical marijuana law,” Martinez said, “It is against federal law to distribute marijuana and there are alternative medications that meet the medical needs of patients.”

Martinez claims that federal law should trump New Mexico state law – despite Attorney General Eric Holder ‘s statement that the federal government won ‘t interfere with lawful state medical marijuana programs. She has also chosen to ignore study after study showing that marijuana helps people struggling with cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and HIV/AIDS.

“New Mexico voters need to know that Susana Martinez is going to take away medicine from our families and friends,” said Sheila Lewis of the New Mexico office of Drug Policy Action. “It is cruel and ignorant to take away this life-saving medicine from people who are sick and deserve compassion.”

Current Lieutenant Governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish, is a strong supporter of New Mexico ‘s medical marijuana program. She has promised that as governor she will make sure the Department of Health effectively implements the program, saying, “I support medical marijuana because there is strong evidence it is effective relieving the pain and suffering of patients with cancer or other terminal and chronic illnesses.”

The ad will be running throughout the last week of the campaign. The ad will air during a range of programs including the World Series,Oprah and the local news.

The ad was created by North Woods Advertising, who are best-known for working on three of the biggest upsets in American political history (Paul Wellstone in 1990, Jesse Ventura in 1998 & Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary vs. Joe Lieberman in 2006).

To view the ad:

Transcript of the Ad:

DISABLED NAVY VETERAN: I ‘m in constant pain from service to my country.

DISABLED CONSTRUCTION WORKER: I ‘m disabled with a spinal injury.

SENIOR CITIZEN: I ‘ve got full-blown AIDS.

WORKER: But we are lucky to live in New Mexico…

VETERAN: Because medical marijuana is the only treatment…

SENIOR CITIZEN: …that works for us.

DOCTOR: We have the best and tightest-run program in America. It ‘s a model for the rest of the country.

WORKER: Now Susana Martinez wants to take away my medicine.

VETERAN: Don ‘t take away my medicine.

SENIOR CITIZEN: I just want to hold my grandchildren.

DOCTOR: How much suffering is enough?

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

Sign up for updates from DPA.