Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health may be reviewing its rules for medical marijuana patients after a judge ruled that the agency cannot require them to exhaust "standard treatments" before they receive cannabis.
District Judge David Thomas gave the ruling late Wednesday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1EVnFc6 ).
"The Department of Health has interjected itself and its judgment between the patient and his or her doctor in requiring an exhaustion of treatment remedies before declaring a patient eligible for the medical cannabis program," Thomson wrote in his order.
The suit focused on post-traumatic stress disorder, with the state arguing that there was a dearth of controlled studies focusing on the effects of cannabis on people with the condition. Thomas said in his ruling that any concerns about the appropriateness of the treatment should have been considered when the department approved post-traumatic stress for cannabis.
About half of the approximately 13,000 patients enrolled in the New Mexico's Medical Cannabis Program have certifications based on a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Santa Fe psychiatrist Carola Kieve filed the suit. She has certified about 50 patients for medical cannabis.
"I'm very pleased by the judge's decision," Kieve said. "I just wish that the state had done the right thing a year ago and not forced me to go to court to make them follow the law."
A Department of Health spokesman said they are reviewing the ruling and evaluating the next steps they should take.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.