The recent changes made to New Mexico’s medical marijuana program would now allow out-of-the-state residents to buy the herb from state-run dispensaries.
“The [word] replacement is a clear indication of legislative intent to widen the reach of eligibility for the New Mexico medical marijuana program,” wrote Santa Fe Judge Bryan Biedscheid.
Democrat Jerry Ortíz y Pino, the state senator who sponsored the legislation that modified the language of the bill, told the local media that the revision was originally made to cover “reciprocal patients” — individuals who had their medical marijuana cards in other states.
However, Biedschield said that the current language of the bill even makes it a violation for the state’s Department of Health to even require a New Mexico ID card in registering for the state’s medical-marijuana program. He suggested that visiting professionals and college students will be the ones who’d benefit the most from the expansion of access.
The policy shift though has raised a few concerns in some of Mexico’s neighboring states such as Texas, whose medical marijuana program doesn’t permit over 0.5% THC in cannabis oil. “The law in Texas is clear, possession of any quantity of marijuana is illegal without ambiguity and any violations are enforced accordingly,” the El Paso Police Department told the NM Political Report.
Another concern that has raised alarms is that the ruling could affect New Mexico’s cannabis supply, as residents of the areas of the state closest to Texas and New Mexico borders have many a time complained of insufficient supplies of the herb.
Notably, New Mexico’s legalization drive has been quite an eventful one this year. In March, the state’s House of Representatives passed House Bill 356 regulating recreational cannabis before the Senate finance committee declined to give the legislation a hearing during the last days of its session.