Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Mexico Marijuana News

Pot patients hit street as DOH runs dry

Updated: Friday, 04 Sep 2009, 11:23 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 04 Sep 2009, 11:23 PM MDT

Reporter: Alex Tomlin

Albuquerque - The state's only licensed distributor of medical marijuana
is fresh out leaving some permitted patients to hunt for street dealers
as an alternative source.

Under New Mexico's medical marijuana law it's legal for permitted users
to buy from drug dealers even though it's not legal for the dealer to

Robert Jones, who uses marijuana because of his cancer, told KRQE News
13 it's a crazy situation he doesn't think will get any better.

"They pretty much did license the black-market system." Jones said.

Jones was one of the state's first medical marijuana users in New
Mexico. Since he got his permit in late 2007 he's always had a problem
finding a legal, affordable source, he said.

Last year he told a state Department of Health hearing sometimes he has
had to turn to the street.

The DOH has approved only one legal producer but has give possession
permits to 540 patients.

About 100 of the patients have permits to grow their own, but the others
have to depend on that one producer. Other applications are pending

"We are really carefully developing this phase of our program,"
Deborah Busemeyer of the DOH said. "It's the final part of our program,
and it's the most complicated.

"We are looking at other places based on where are they located, who can
they serve and are patients getting what they need."

Busemeyer said the lone producer who's currently licensed will have a
new crop in October.

But in the meantime the state is giving out more user permits, something
Jones said is just making the problem worse.

"By the end of the year we need 10 producers all over the
state," Jones said.

He is now licensed to grow his own. However he said he knows seriously
ill patients who are too weak to grow their own and are now out of

"They are never going to get it," he said. "They don't go to the
grocery store; they sure don't go out and meet long-haired people with
beards in parking lots and buy marijuana and take it home and try to
smoke it."

The DOH said the number of new medical marijuana permits has more than
doubled in the last few months.

http://www.krqe. com/dpp/news/ health/health_ krqe_albuquerque _pot_patients\
_hit_street_ as_DOH_runs_ dry_200909042315

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