Skip to main content

Medical Marijuana: New Mexico Balks At Growing It

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #498)
Drug War Issues

Update: Gov. Richardson has ordered the Health Dept. to implement the law, and has urged President Bush to stop the medical marijuana prosecutions.

When the New Mexico legislature passed the state's medical marijuana law this year, the law was unique in mandating that the state would oversee the production and distribution of the herb. But Wednesday, the state health department announced it would not comply with that portion of the law for fear of the feds arresting state employees.

"The Department of Health will not subject its employees to potential federal prosecution, and therefore will not distribute or produce medical marijuana," said Dr. Alfredo Vigil, who heads the agency.

The decision was not exactly a surprise. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King warned last week that the department and its employees could be criminally prosecuted by the feds and that his office could not defend state workers in criminal cases.

But while lifting the threat of potential federal prosecution from the health department and its employees, the move may open them to legal action from supporters of the law. The agency is "leaving itself open for a lawsuit," Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico office head Reena Szczepanski told the Associated Press Wednesday. "I remember certain legislators talking about how they didn't want their grandmother to have to go into some alley and deal with some criminal element," said Szczepanski.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

Another shining example of Constitutional Chaos and an unfettered federal government run amok!

The response from the state attorney should have sounded something like this:

While the great state of New Mexico acknowledges the customary 'comply or die' threats of the federal government the state DOES NOT recognize federal jurisdiction in this constitutionally mandated state matter. Furthermore, any federal agent, his agent, or agent thereof, caught in violation of New Mexico state law will be arrested and held for an indefinite period in a secret & secure criminal detention center while awaiting tribunal and/or rendition. All renditions and intelligence garnering technics shall be carried out in close compliance with currently acceptable u.s. policy.

Stop suffering these criminals!

Billy B Blunt
Tacoma, WA

Fri, 08/17/2007 - 3:55pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The federal law allows officers engaged in enforcement of a state or local law regarding controlled substances to manufacture & distribute them without need of DEA registration. The persons receiving them would still be in violation, but only of possession of whatever they got.

Fri, 08/17/2007 - 8:31pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I currently am prescribed 40mgs of Methadone for my Chronic Severe Pain 3 times a day, 25mgs a day Oxycodone for breakthrough pain, and 10mgs Valium four times a day for Chronic Severe Spasms. These harmful drugs have taken a toll on my liver and kidneys, not to mention the toll on my mental capacities. Obvioiusly, I would be much better off with this natural, God given herb than man made deadly Rx drugs. Nevada allows patients to grow their own or appoint someone to grow it for them. It seems every state that takes thiis brave step fails to address all facets of the Federal Criminalization of this beneficial herb. What is the answer? Until we Re-legalize it (It was legal until the 1930's, and the law is only a tax stamp act, right?) nationally, We The People will continue to come under attack as we watch our nation fade away from it's past glory. Big Pharma has it's slimy hands in all our politicians pockets and will never allow Marijuana to be RE-legalized, as it is better than anything in the current Pharmacopea.

Fri, 11/23/2007 - 8:27pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.