April 05, 2018, New Mexico
Department of Health in New Mexico is now receiving hundreds of applications everyday from patients to get registered for the state’s MMJ program. The latest changes in the application process have made it easier for patients to apply for MMJ permits. Therefore, the department is now overwhelmed with the task of reviewing a stack of applications on a day-to-day basis.
Last month, the department launched an updated interface for patients to apply for MMJ cards. Making it available online and reducing its length (from four pages to two) has made it easy and quick for patients to apply. Furthermore, the department has also made it easy for certified physicians to issue MMJ recommendations.
The language used in the application is now also more legible. More detailed guidelines are available on the application for both patients and physicians. All these minor tweaks have collectively factored in to improve the accessibility of patients to medical cannabis and the numbers furnished by the department substantiate this fact. Even before these improvements, New Mexico’s MMJ program was very responsive in its operations. For instance, the department processed thousands of applications within the deadline of 30 days.
According to the department’s own figures, at the end of last month the state’s MMJ program was catering exactly 50,954 patients.
Another interesting and reassuring thing regarding New Mexico’s MMJ program is 46 percent new patients have been enrolled in just first quarter of this year. Streamlining the application process will certainly take this number to a new level by the end of this year.
The report from the department of health also indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most prevalent MMJ qualifying condition in the state because nearly half of the MMJ patients mentioned PTSD as their medical condition in the application form.
PTSD is the most common mental health condition among US veterans and New Mexico’s MMJ program validates this fact. As per the MMJ applications submitted at the department, 13 percent of them were from veterans.
Therefore, many cannabis advocates and veterans want to have legal medical cannabis at federal level to reduce the mental toll incurred by soldiers serving in war zones. Other two common qualifying medical conditions are acute chronic pains and cancer. It is important to note that opioid has been used by many to alleviate their chronic pains. By making medical cannabis available nationwide for people suffering from chronic pains, authorities can curb the ongoing opioid epidemic.
In addition, marijuana advocates in New Mexico want to expand the list of qualifying condition in order to treat opioid substance abuse and its withdrawals. However, the state authorities are reluctant to add opioid treatment to the list of qualifying conditions. As of now, there are 21 medical conditions enlisted for which patients are eligible to get MMJ card.
Nevertheless, the MMJ program in New Mexico is still an example for other states as how to successfully run statewide legalized operations of medical cannabis.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]