Bureaucratic Delays Keep Patients From Medical Pot in New Mexico

New Mexico

In New Mexico, the Department of Health is taking longer than legally allowed to approve applications for medical marijuana cards, according to a June 2, 2016, press release from the Drug Policy Alliance.

While the law requires the state’s work on applications to be completed within 30 days, the Department of Health currently is taking more than 60 days, the Drug Policy Alliance said.

When applicants’ cards for medicinal pot expire, they cannot purchase marijuana from licensed vendors, meaning their use of marijuana would put them at risk of legal penalties.

Jessica Gelay, a policy coordinator with the Drug Policy Alliance, said, “We are very concerned about the patients who are put at risk for criminal penalties, prosecution, and may be forced into the illicit market to maintain their supply of medicine.

“While we appreciate that there is a plan in place to deal with the problem in time, we are believe that more could be done to address this serious situation, affecting thousands of patients every month, immediately,” she said.

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