The State Medical Cannabis Advisory Board twice in recent years voted to recommend opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for the state’s medical marijuana program — only to have former Gov. Susana Martinez’s health secretary reject the proposal.
The board on Friday approved
Within hours of the board’s decision, the new Health Department Secretary, Kathy Kunkel, said she’d accept its recommendation.
“Using medical cannabis is not intended as a substitute to opioids; it is
In her first State of the State address at the beginning of this year’s Legislature, Lujan Grisham specifically called for allowing marijuana to be used to help treat symptoms of opioid addiction through the Medical Cannabis Program.
“We will not stand in the way of our neighbors who are struggling with addiction and want to recover,” she said in the speech. “Instead, we will help them all along the way.”
In addition to the opioid recommendation, the board also unanimously recommended that substance abuse disorder — which would include other addictive drugs such as prescription medication, alcohol, tobacco, hallucinogens
The board had also made this recommendation last year but it was rejected by former Health Department Secretary Lynn Gallagher.
Board chairwoman Dr. Laura Brown said at the meeting that marijuana is not a “treatment” for opioid or other drug addiction.
“It relieves symptoms and suffering,” she said.
Brown said she recently had met with Kunkel, who is reviewing several recommendations the board — comprised of doctors — had made to Gallagher. Among those medical
The board rejected a proposal to make medical marijuana available to anyone who is 65 or older. Brown pointed out most of the conditions of medical conditions frequently suffered by senior citizens already are on the program’s list of qualifying conditions.