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New Mexico Fighitng Ptsd Left And Right


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first there was some loon trying to get PTSD removed after it was approved by the new mexico panel, then the health department tried to add this crap? whats going on in new mexico??





Judge nixes state agency’s rule for medical marijuana card

Posted: Friday, May 1, 2015 12:00 am | Updated: 8:19 am, Fri May 1, 2015.


By Phaedra Haywood

The New Mexican | 6 comments


A judge has ruled that the New Mexico Department of Health cannot require medical marijuana patients to exhaust “standard treatments” before they receive cannabis for relief.


The decision by state District Judge David Thomson came late Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by Santa Fe psychiatrist Carola Kieve. It may force the Department of Health to change its newly promulgated rules and application forms.


Thomson ruled that the department had exceeded its authority by mandating that patients who apply for a state medical cannabis card submit documentation that they had tried “standard treatments” before turning to marijuana. The case at hand involved a patient with post-traumatic stress disorder. Thomson said the department could not put up barriers to patients seeking medical marijuana for any condition approved for cannabis treatment under the state’s Medical Cannabis Program.


Kenny Vigil, a spokesman for the Department of Health, said by email that the agency was reviewing the ruling and “will then evaluate its options about the next steps.”


Kieve, though, called the judge’s decision a breakthrough.


“Beginning today doctors and patients in New Mexico will be able to make together important decisions about care and treatment without interference from state government,” she said in a statement. “I’m very pleased by the judge’s decision. 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.”


Kieve has certified about 50 patients for medical cannabis.


Overall, about half of the approximately 13,000 patients enrolled in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program have certifications based on a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is one of the nine conditions added by the department to the seven qualifying conditions originally listed in the law allowing use of medical marijuana.


The state requirement that patients first try standard treatments had been tweaked under new rules adopted Feb. 27. The rules now say patients don’t have to undergo standard treatments if their doctor determined doing so would be harmful to their health. But even that rule, Thomson said, overstepped the agency’s authority.


“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.


Former Department of Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil and Deputy Secretary Brad McGrath testified for the state during a nonjury trial on Kieve’s lawsuit earlier this month.


The lack of controlled studies focusing on the effects of cannabis in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the concern that cannabis not be used as a treatment of first resort, were among the arguments the department made for imposing additional requirements.


But, the judge said in his order, there are no similar studies for any of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients. In addition, any concerns the department has about the appropriateness of cannabis use for a specific condition could be addressed when it decides whether to approve a condition as part of the treatment program.


Once the department has authorized a condition, the judge said, it can’t require patients to try any particular treatment or submit documentation beyond what the law requires. A medical practitioner must certify that the patient has the condition.


The judge cited a form letter the department sent to an applicant as evidence that it skirted the law. The letter informed the prospective patient that his application was incomplete because he had not provided documentation of “medications or standard treatments that have failed.”


Kieve’s lawyer, Brian Egolf of Santa Fe, said she “took on the cause of PTSD sufferers because it was the right thing to do.”


“Now, more patients will get the help they need,” Egolf said.


Contact Phaedra Haywood at 986-3068 or phaywood@sfnewmexican.com. Follow her on Twitter at @phaedrann.

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