SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on possible reforms to New Mexico's medical cannabis program (all times local):
An advisory board of physicians has revived its calls for New Mexico to expand medical marijuana access to people struggling with opioid addiction.
The state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted 4-0 on Friday to recommend the addition of opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for access to medical marijuana.
The board's recommendation will weigh in a decision by newly appointed Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned for office last year in support of extending medical marijuana access to patients contending with adverse effects of opioid use.
New Mexico has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the Western United States, with opioids including heroin listed as a leading cause.
The advisory board separately endorsed medical cannabis treatment for other addiction-related medical diagnosis that could include alcohol, stimulants, hallucinogens and a variety of prescription drugs.
Proponents of sanctioning medical marijuana use as a tool for treating opioid withdrawal symptoms are making their case to the new administration of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The state's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board was scheduled to hear a petition Friday that would add opioid addiction and other substance-use disorders to the list of qualifying conditions to be a medical marijuana patient.
Lujan Grisham campaigned for office last year as an advocate for issuing medical cannabis cards to people struggling with opioid addiction.
About 70,000 patients are enrolled in New Mexico's medical marijuana program. The program was initiated in 2007 and has grown as the list of qualifying conditions was expanded to include post-traumatic stress disorder and other maladies.