|Graphic: Santa Fe Reporter|
|N.M. Gov. Susanna Martinez: “I do not support distributing marijuana for any purposes”|
A bill to repeal New Mexico’s medical marijuana law — supported by the state’s new Republican governor — will not receive a vote this year, as the sponsor of the bill has reportedly pulled the legislation.
A secretary in the office of freshman state Rep. James Smith (R-Sandia Park), who initially sponsored a bill that would kill the state’s medical marijuana program, confirmed that attempts to dissolve the program have been aborted, reports Alexa Schirtzinger at the Santa Fe Reporter.
Gov. Susanna Martinez said during her election campaign last fall that she wanted to end the medical marijuana program, but that the repeal was “not a priority” for this year’s legislative session.
“I do not support distributing marijuana for any purposes,” Martinez, who was hand-picked by Sarah Palin, said during the campaign.
Smith’s original bill, HB 593 [PDF], would have repealed the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, the 2007 law creating New Mexico’s medical cannabis program. As of February 16, the program had served just under 4,000 patients.
According to Smith’s secretary, he’s pulled the repeal bill and replaced it with House Memorial 53 [PDF], which would require the New Mexico Department of Health to conduct on study on the program’s effectiveness and deliver it to the Legislature by October.
Part of the rationale for studying the program, according to HM 53, is that it “remains a controversial measure, with both supporters and detractors of the use of marijuana for medical purposes,” reports Matthew Reichbach at The New Mexico Independent.
I’m guessing it’s a lot more “controversial” with the hidebound Republican legislators in New Mexico than it is with seriously ill medical marijuana patients and their families.