Judge: State can’t force medical marijuana patients to try ‘standard treatments’ first

A Santa Fe district court judge struck down a state rule that required medical patients to exhaust “standard treatments” before entering the Medical Cannabis Program. The case that Judge David Thomson ruled on earlier this week involved the state Department of Health’s rejection of a post-traumatic stress disorder patient’s application to the Medical Cannabis Program based on the fact that the patient’s doctor, Carola Kieve, didn’t submit enough medical records with the application and didn’t exhaust other medical treatments first. Kieve filed the lawsuit more than a year ago. She also charged that Dr. Stan Rosenberg, director of the health department’s Medical Cannabis Program, had a conflict of interest because of his role heading Albuquerque Integrative Medicine. There, Rosenberg refers his own patients to the medical marijuana program.

Medical cannabis research bill passes second committee

A bill that would create a medical cannabis fund for research purposes passed through its second of three House committee assignments on Saturday morning. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, would create an appropriation for research on medical cannabis to be conducted through the Department of Health. Most of the Republicans on the committee told Armstrong they would not support her HB 466 both because of objections to medical cannabis and because of the appropriation. House Majority Caucus Chair Kelly Fajardo, R-Belen, told the sponsor that she had similar concerns as other members, but that she also understands why people might use medical cannabis. She said that when her mother was dying she would have done almost anything to help her.