Growers Rally for Medical Cannabis
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Growers Rally for Medical Cannabis
Posted by CN Staff on December 10, 2009 at 05:41:15 PT
Staff Report 
Source: Daily Lobo 
New Mexico -- The pot pioneers of New Mexico are meeting in Santa Fe on Friday to show support for the Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program.The DOH is holding the meeting to consider approving new medical conditions, including Hepatitis C, that could warrant patients having a cannabis I.D. card. As of now, patients with one of 15 medical conditions can be prescribed medical marijuana.
Larry S. Love is the organizer for the unofficial group of New Mexicans who are interested in growing medical cannabis for the more than 800 New Mexico patients who have cannabis I.D. cards.Love has organized a patient rally to start after the 10 a.m. DOH’s meeting in the Runnels Building in Santa Fe.“I understand that Albuquerque in general doesn’t have a lot of doctors that are willing to write a recommendation for their patients,” Love said. “So, it’s early on in the program here, and we’re all sort of pioneers. Some physicians are just a little reluctant because they have DEA licenses to write prescriptions for regular prescriptions, and medical cannabis should be considered a regular type of treatment.”Love said he wants to help potential patients fill out their paperwork and find willing doctors.“One of the things that I’m hoping to do in the near future is to have a clinic where people can come and get the proper paperwork if they don’t have a computer, and we’ll help them fill out their applications for the DOH,” he said. “I would like to do that at least once a week up here in Santa Fe, and if we can find a place down in Albuquerque, another day.”Love said physicians shouldn’t worry about breaking federal laws because the doctors only write recommendations for patients, not the prescriptions themselves. Instead, the Department of Health writes the prescription, Love said.“The federal government has now changed their position on medical cannabis and have stated that as long as someone is abiding by the state law, they will not bother doctors or growers or distributors or patients,” he said. “So, that’s a big step for helping the program, not just here in New Mexico, but also in the other states that have made medical cannabis legal.”Love said he will also hold more meetings for “The Growers Guild” to help growers obtain the necessary applications and permits to cultivate marijuana.“Currently, there are about 800 patients, from what I understand, and they expect to have about 1,000 or 1,100 by the end of January,” he said. “Which means they only have five people currently approved to grow, and that would only cover less than 50 percent of the patients. So, the DOH actually needs to approve five more producers ASAP.”Love said he hopes the rally and meeting are well attended so the doctors of New Mexico feel more confident about issuing recommendations.“This is our first step to gather patients and people that haven’t applied yet that want to apply to be a medical cannabis patient,” he said. “So, we’re showing our support for the program and trying to organize a voice for the patients of New Mexico.”* DOH Medical Cannabis Program Meeting10 a.m.Harold Runnels Building1190 St. Francis DriveSanta FePatient Rally will be held after the meetingSource: Daily Lobo (U of NM, Edu, NM)Published: December 10, 2009Copyright: 2009 Daily LoboContact: opinion dailylobo.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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