Regional
10:28 am
Wed May 5, 2010

No Changes To Medical Marijuana Program

New Mexico – The New Mexico health secretary says requirements for patients with chronic pain to join the medical marijuana program will not change.

Dr. Alfredo Vigil decided Tuesday against eliminating a requirement that both a primary care physician and a chronic pain specialist sign off on such cases.

He says that's to ensure medical marijuana is available only to those who need it as a treatment of last resort.

Chronic pain patients also have to have objective proof such as CT scans or X-rays.

Vigil says the requirements are reasonable given what he terms "the limited scientific evidence guiding the use of cannabis and that it is a common drug of abuse."

The program's Medical Advisory Board had recommended the department eliminate the requirement of a specialist.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.