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WIRE: New Mexico Health Secretary balks at medical cannabis expansion

Santa Fe — Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher has agreed to proposed changes in the state’s medical cannabis law that would permit patients with obstructive sleep apnea to access marijuana; but she rejected calls to expand access to patients with other debilitating conditions, including Tourette’s syndrome (TS) and opioid dependency.

“I cannot say with any degree of confidence that the use of cannabis for the treatment of opioid dependency and its symptoms would be either safe or effective,” Secretary Gallagher opined in a signed decision. She also rejected recommendations to permit the use of cannabis for the treatment of eczema, muscular dystrophy, psoriasis, or Tourette’s syndrome.

A number of case reports and clinical trials report that THC can mitigate symptoms of TS. Cannabis use has also been associated with improved outcomes in opioid-dependent subjects undergoing outpatient treatment. Among chronic pain patients enrolled in medical cannabis programs, the use of opioids typically is reduced or eliminated over time.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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