Proposed 2019 NM Legislation: MEMORIAL Creating a Legislative Health and Human Services Interim Committee; Medical Cannabis Subcommittee


Bill Summary:
The New Mexico legislative council be requested to charge the chair of the legislative health and human services committee with convening and chairing the medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee and with appointing to the subcommittee:

The Eight members of the current New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, who are to be practitioners and representing the fields of neurology, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, family medicine and gynecology. The practitioners shall be nationally board-certified in their area of specialty and knowledgeable about the medical use of cannabis. In Additional members of the medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee shall consist of; at least one person who is from the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research Fund, at least two members of the House of Representatives, one each from the majority party and the minority party; at least two Senators, one each from the majority party and the minority party; and a member of the legislative finance committee staff; and one member who is a representative of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture; one member who is a representative of the New Mexico State Pharmacy Board; one member who is a representative of the New Mexico Department of Health, at least two persons who possesses a qualifying patient's registry identification card; at least one person who is an officer, board member, or other responsible party for a licensed medical cannabis dispensing facility; at least one medical professional who is a medical cannabis provider, and at least one qualifying patient who is either a Armed Forces Veteran or prior Law Enforcement/Fire/EMT Veteran status.


A MEMORIAL
REQUESTING THE NEW MEXICO LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO CREATE AN MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM ADVISORY SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATIVE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE TO STUDY MEDICAL CANNABIS AND IT’S BENEFICIAL USES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDRESSING THESE BENEFITS AND EXPANSION OF THE MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM TO THE LEGISLATURE.

WHEREAS, Lynn Pierson, an Albuquerque cancer patient, advocated for the passage of a model medical cannabis program in New Mexico in 1978; and the New Mexico legislature passed the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act in 1978, establishing the Lynn Pierson therapeutic research program as a result of Lynn's advocacy efforts; and

WHEREAS, the Lynn Pierson therapeutic research program ended in 1986 because of lack of funding; and

WHEREAS, Erin Armstrong advocated tirelessly for the passage of New Mexico's current medical cannabis program law; and New Mexico's medical cannabis law took effect on July 1, 2007, after enactment of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act; and

WHEREAS, in January 2009, the department of health issued rules governing production, distribution and use of medicinal cannabis under state law; and

WHEREAS, more than fifty thousand (50,000) patients are currently protected to possess and use medical cannabis as medicine in New Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the department of health accepts applications for registry identification cards for possession and use of medical cannabis to persons with serious and debilitating medical conditions, there are currently 20 qualifying conditions eligible including; Cancer, Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Spinal Cord Damage with Intractable Spasticity, HIV/AIDS, Painful peripheral neuropathy, Intractable nausea/vomiting, Severe anorexia/cachexia, Hepatitis C infection currently receiving antiviral treatment, Crohn's disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Severe Chronic Pain, Hospice Care, Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis, Cervical dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Ulcerative colitis; and

WHEREAS, any medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or nurse practitioner licensed to prescribe medicine in New Mexico is eligible to write a recommendation for qualified patients to register in the state's medical cannabis program; and

WHEREAS, New Mexico law enforcement agencies recognize that state law protects patients who have registered with the department of health for possession of medical marijuana in the medical cannabis program; and

WHEREAS, the states of New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine have passed medical cannabis statutes modeled after the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act; and

WHEREAS, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act passed by the legislature has become the model legislation for the nation; and

WHEREAS, Ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis means: International, federal and state laws and regulations recognized cannabis as a legal medicine, Medical professionals recommend medical cannabis options as a frontline treatment option or an adjunct therapy, Patients and their caregivers have the information they need to make educated choices about medical cannabis therapies, Patients and medical professionals can incorporate a diverse group of products and delivery methods to create required personalized treatment regimen, Patients can trust labels on products and that medicines are free of pesticides and contaminants, Medical cannabis treatments are eventually covered by insurance; and

WHEREAS, cannabis (marijuana) has been used as a medicine for at least 5,000 years and can be effective for serious medical conditions for which conventional medications fail to provide relief; and

WHEREAS, modern medical research has shown that medical cannabis can slow the progression of such serious diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and stop HIV and cancer cells from spreading; has both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties; can alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy, PTSD and multiple sclerosis; is useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders; and can help reverse neurological damage from brain injuries and stroke; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has acknowledged the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, the primary active compounds found in cannabis, including as an antidepressant, appetite stimulant, anticonvulsant and anti-spasmodic, and identified cannabinoids as beneficial in the treatment of asthma, glaucoma, and nausea and vomiting related to illnesses such as cancer and AIDS; and

WHEREAS, the American Medical Association has called for the review of the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance to allow for clinical research and the development of cannabinoid-based medicines; and

WHEREAS, the National Cancer Institute has concluded that cannabis has antiemetic effects and is beneficial for appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep among cancer patients; and

WHEREAS, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the American Herbal Products Association have developed qualitative standards for the use of medical cannabis as a botanical medicine; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has long noted that states may operate as “laboratories of democracy” in the development of innovative public policies; and

WHEREAS, A total of twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical cannabis programs.; and

WHEREAS, seventeen additional states have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of therapeutic compounds extracted from the cannabis plant; and

WHEREAS, more than 17 years of state-level experimentation provides a guide for state and federal law and policy related to the medical use of cannabis; and

WHEREAS, accredited educational curricula concerning the medical use of cannabis have been established that meets Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements for practicing physicians; and

WHEREAS, Congress has prohibited the federal Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with and prosecute those acting in compliance with their state medical cannabis laws, and the Department of Justice has issued guidance to U.S. Attorneys indicating that enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act is not a priority when individual patients and their care providers are in compliance with state law, and that federal prosecutors should defer to state and local enforcement so long as a viable state regulatory scheme is in place;

WHEREAS, doctors on the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, in 2017 at two Advisory Board Hearings, issued a number of recommendations for addressing the beneficial use of medical cannabis to the Secretary of Health, including:

A. Advisory Board Doctors recommended the following fourteen (14) health conditions be added into the medical cannabis program; ADD/ADHD, Autism (ASD), Anxiety, Degenerative Neurological Disorder, Depression, Dystonia, Eczema / Psoriasis, Migraine Headache, Muscular Dystrophy, Post-Concussion Syndrome & TBI, All Types Seizures (such as: psychogenic neurological disorders; Motor Disorders / Motor Development Disorders), Sleep Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorder(s) (and Opioid Use Disorder);

B. Advisory Board Doctors recommended the following four (4) medical treatments be added into the medical cannabis program; Pediatric Oncology & Medical Cannabis Use for Antiemetic in State Hospitals, Change/increase possession limit to 16 oz for Patients, Removal of Potency Limit on THC Content for Concentrates, and Patient Run Collectives;

C. Advisory Board Doctors were denied by the Department of Health in Reviewing the following Nine (9) Medical Treatment Petitions in 2017 : (1)Medical Treatment; Medical Cannabis Program Research & Education Established, (2)Medical Treatment; (3)ADA language for Section 8 of LECUA; (4)Medical cannabis registry, (5)Medical Treatment; (6)Medical Cannabis 3 yr registry identification cards, (7)Medical Treatment; Recognition of nonresident medical cards, (8)Medical Treatment; Adequate Supply: LNPP Plant Count Increase, (9)Medical Treatment; Increase Medical Cannabis Advisory Board membership;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES or SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the New Mexico legislative council be requested to create an "medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee" of the legislative health and human services committee to meet monthly during the 2018 interim to study the the benefits of the medical cannabis program and make recommendations for addressing the expansion of the medical cannabis program to the legislature by December 1, 2018; and The "medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee" shall:
A. review and recommend to the legislative health and human services committee for approval additional debilitating medical conditions that would benefit from the medical use of cannabis;
B. review to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis;
C. attend and present committee findings at the twice per year Department of Health Advisory Boards Hearing on Medical Cannabis, which shall be maintained as confidential personal health information, to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis;
D. issue recommendations concerning rules to be promulgated for the issuance of the registry identification cards; and
E. recommend quantities of cannabis that are necessary to constitute an adequate supply for qualified patients and primary caregivers for the medical cannabis program.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the New Mexico legislative council be requested to charge the chair of the legislative health and human services committee with convening and chairing the medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee and with appointing to the subcommittee:

The Eight members of the current New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, who are to be practitioners and representing the fields of neurology, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, family medicine and gynecology. The practitioners shall be nationally board-certified in their area of specialty and knowledgeable about the medical use of cannabis. In Additional members of the medical cannabis program advisory subcommittee shall consist of; at least one person who is from the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research Fund, at least two members of the House of Representatives, one each from the majority party and the minority party; at least two Senators, one each from the majority party and the minority party; and a member of the legislative finance committee staff; and one member who is a representative of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture; one member who is a representative of the New Mexico State Pharmacy Board; one member who is a representative of the New Mexico Department of Health, at least two persons who possesses a qualifying patient's registry identification card; at least one person who is an officer, board member, or other responsible party for a licensed medical cannabis dispensing facility; at least one medical professional who is a medical cannabis provider, and at least one qualifying patient who is either a Armed Forces Veteran or prior Law Enforcement/Fire/EMT Veteran status.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the Governor's Office, Secretary of Health, Manager of the medical cannabis program at the department of health, Medical Director of the medical cannabis program at the department of health, the chair and vice chair of the legislative health and human services committee; the executive director of the board of pharmacy; the executive director of the New Mexico medical board

Safe Access New Mexico ~ A Chapter of Americans For Safe Access
UNITE-NETWORK-GROW-INFORM-KNOW-EDUCATE-ACTIVISM-VOTE-HEALTH-WELLNESS
(All Rights Reserved 04/20/2018)


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