New Mexico Expands Medical Marijuana Program with Addition of Six Conditions

New Mexico’s medical marijuana program is opening its doorways to extra sufferers, because of a coverage change revising the state’s listing of qualifying circumstances. On Thursday, New Mexico Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel signed off on the addition of six new qualifying circumstances. But the one anticipated to attract probably the most new sufferers into New Mexico’s program is opioid dependency.

With the transfer, New Mexico joins a quantity of different states which have up to date their medical marijuana packages to deal with the continued opioid epidemic. Health Secretary Kunkel additionally added a handful of different circumstances that fewer states contemplate qualifying, together with autism, Alzheimer’s illness and different degenerative neurological issues.

New Mexico Is the Latest State Turning to Cannabis to Curb Opioids

The United States medical group is desperately looking for options to prescription opioids, or at the least one thing that may scale back the quantity of opioid drugs docs prescribe. Meanwhile, prescription opioid abuse and illicit use have grow to be a nationwide well being disaster. In 2017, the typical nationwide price of opioid-involved overdose deaths was 14.6 per 100,000 individuals. That similar yr in New Mexico, the speed was 16.7 deaths per 100,000. According to knowledge from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these numbers haven’t considerably modified during the last a number of years.

But new analysis continues to recommend that hashish could be a viable various to prescription painkillers. Other research present how hashish might help additionally ween individuals off of opioid dependencies. And in lots of locations the place medical hashish is authorized and accessible, opioid prescription charges have declined, particularly amongst youthful sufferers.

And in that analysis, first-year Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Gisham sees a potential reply to New Mexico’s battle with opioid use and habit. As half of her marketing campaign platform, Gov. Grisham referred to as for increasing the state’s medical marijuana program to incorporate these struggling with opioid use issues. Gov. Grisham is a former state well being secretary. And her marketing campaign pledge to open up medical hashish entry was seen as a rebuke to former Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, which had rejected appeals for medical marijuana enlargement.

Austism, Alzheimer’s Added to New Mexico’s List of Qualifying Conditions

In addition to opioid use dysfunction, New Mexico Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel accepted 5 different circumstances. She permitted autism spectrum dysfunction, Alzheimer’s illness and three different extreme degenerative neurological issues: Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Patients affected by these circumstances gained’t have to attend, both. Health Secretary Kunkel’s modifications are efficient instantly.

“We need to explore and pursue every available means of responding to the health and wellness needs of our neighbors here in New Mexico,” Gov. Grisham stated of the announcement. “Compassion must guide our decision-making. Today marks an important and long-overdue step forward after too many years of the status quo.”

The complete six new qualifying circumstances deliver New Mexico’s complete as much as 28. Most of the state’s 73,000 medical marijuana sufferers are enrolled for persistent ache and post-traumatic stress dysfunction.

“Adding these conditions to the Medical Cannabis Program provides medical providers new tools for relieving symptoms that may otherwise be difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to relieve through conventional means,” stated Secretary Kunkel.


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