New Mexico lawmakers have voted to reinstate a residency requirement for sufferers licensed to take part within the state’s medical marijuana program. Below a invoice handed within the New Mexico Home of Representatives on Monday, permitting non-residents to use for medical marijuana identification playing cards can be phased out later this yr. The measure, SB 139, was authorised within the state Senate on Saturday and has the help of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The invoice was sponsored within the Senate by Democrat Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino. Below a special measure that was handed and signed into legislation final yr, the phrases “resident of New Mexico” have been faraway from the definition of a certified medical marijuana affected person and changed with the phrase “particular person.” Below that change, greater than 600 folks from Texas, Arizona, and different states have certified as sufferers.
However Ortiz y Pino says that the change in definition was unintentional and that the state ought to once more limit issuing medical marijuana playing cards to New Mexico residents. Sufferers with playing cards from different states would additionally be capable to buy marijuana at licensed dispensaries below a reciprocity program. Ortiz y Pino is anxious that permitting residents of different states to qualify as medical marijuana sufferers may invite interference from the federal authorities.
Bipartisan Opposition to Invoice
Democratic Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who voted towards the invoice, mentioned the measure would make hashish the one type of well being care that’s restricted to state residents. For instance, many ladies journey to New Mexico for care from states with stricter abortion legal guidelines.
“We permit folks from all around the nation to return right here,” Candelaria said, including that he helps the state’s abortion legislation.
Sen. Jeff Steinborn, one other Democrat, was additionally against the invoice. He mentioned the measure is a humanitarian problem, citing the case of a pal with most cancers who was not in a position to make use of medical marijuana as a result of he lived in Texas.
“I personally am not satisfied we have now to take this step tonight,” Steinborn mentioned.
Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle additionally voted towards the invoice, saying he’d not too long ago had bother proving his residency when he tried to use for a Actual ID-compliant driver’s license.
“I feel we may be going just a little too far with this in proving residency,” Pirtle mentioned.
He additionally scoffed on the notion that the federal authorities would intrude if nonresidents have been permitted to enroll in this system, noting that states which have legalized leisure pot, together with neighboring Colorado, haven’t been focused.
“Consider,” Pirtle mentioned. “There’s 14 states which have leisure hashish. They’ve carried out nothing to them.”
Duke Rodriguez, the CEO of medical marijuana supplier Extremely Well being, agreed that motion from the federal authorities is unlikely.
“There isn’t a risk of federal intervention,” he told a Home committee on well being coverage. “There isn’t a boogie man.”
If the invoice is signed by Grisham, non-residents wouldn’t qualify as medical marijuana sufferers beginning this summer time. Non-resident sufferers who have already got medical marijuana identification playing cards can be allowed to make use of them till they expire three years after being issued, in response to New Mexico Well being Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel.