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Make A Wish, Juggalo

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Journal vs. the state’s medical cannabis program

I despise being denied documents as much as the next reporter. Thomas J. Cole at our conservative daily paper penned this column, frustrated that he couldn’t get his hands on records showing which doctors in the state are recommending patients to New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

So the state’s secretary of health, Dr. Alfredo Vigil, wrote a response. This all comes to me from Tracy Dingmann over at Clearly New Mexico.

The premise of Cole’s column is that only a few docs in Colorado sign off on most of the medical marijuana certifications in the state. He wants to know if that’s the case here, too.

When I interviewed Dr. K. Paul Stoller last year, he pointed out that it’s dangerous for physicians to make these recommendations. Marijuanaeven when legalized for medical use by a stateis still illegal under federal law. Plenty of doctors won’t take the risk in fear of losing their DEA license, which allows them to prescribe medication.

So that might explain why only a handful of physicians in Colorado and New Mexico are willing put their neck on the line in this wayand why they might not want their names in the papers.

Further, the Journal’s Cole also fails to recognize that the doctors sign off on certifications, but it’s actually up to the medical director at the Department of Health to approve a patient and issue a registry ID card. Regardless of which physician a patient sees, all applications are red- or green-lighted by the state.

V.18 No.46 | 11/12/2009

Feature

Marijuana Rx

How the U.S. attorney general’s memo affects New Mexico’s groundbreaking program

By Marisa Demarco

Dr. K. Paul Stoller has long examined the role of cannabis in clinical medicine. In 1976, before he was a medical student, he published an article on the effects of THC on hand-eye coordination.

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Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Sweet Relief

Chocolatier aims to make medical marijuana go down easy

By Christie Chisholm

Scott Van Rixel's career in food started the day following his 12th birthday, with a dishwashing job at a Serbian fish fryery. "My mom and my dad would pick me up Friday night and make me strip down to my underwear outside because I stunk so bad of fish," he recalls. "It was miserable, but I loved it."

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