SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Officials in New Mexico have approved anxiety disorders as a qualifying condition under the state’s medical marijuana program.
In approving the move last month, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board said that up to 25 percent of New Mexico’s adult population — about 465,000 people — could experience the effects of such disorders. The ruling takes effect on January 1.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the change, which could expand the medical cannabis program to thousands of new patients, came after two advisory board members, physician assistant Stephanie Richmond and Dr. Jean-Paul Dedum, expressed concern the board filed a petition to join. a qualifying condition.
Richmond said she and Dedum asked if they could submit their own petition when public petitions to add conditions to the program after recreational cannabis is legalized for adults 21 and older in 2021 suddenly surfaced. Closed. Richmond and Dedham abstained from voting on the petition, but the four remaining board members voted unanimously to approve it.
Richmond said he hopes the measure will reduce the need for benzodiazepines, common pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for anxiety disorders with the potential for dependence and negative side effects. They also hope it will encourage more discussions among patients and doctors about the use of plants, especially because strong stigma and misinformation still exist.
Dispensary managers see the measure as a positive step, but they say dosing and treatment protocols will ultimately remain the responsibility of cannabis store employees until more medical doctors become familiar with the products and their effects.
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