Jun 23, 2016 9:10 AM

New Mexico Patients Fall Into Trap of Medical Cannabis Cards Delay

In New Mexico, thousands of medical cannabis patients jeopardize their health and freedom because of significant delays in reissuing of medical cards. Patients who try to get renewals for their expired cards face time-consuming bureaucracy that delays their marijuana treatment for months.

Current Situation and Actions Taken

Now, the Medical Cannabis Program of New Mexico includes nearly 25,000 patients, and 10,000 more applicants signed up within the last year. Though the state has hired more people for issuing medical marijuana cards, the Department of Health remains overloaded with applications.

The process of renewal should last thirty days, which gives patients time to decide when they can submit their paperwork. Unfortunately, the program has experienced a tremendous growth of card applicants within the past five months, and the renewal process might now last for sixty days instead.

How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card
More and more states in the U.S. are approving medical marijuana legislation, but it does not mean that everyone can have access to cannabis. Even if you live in the state where weed is legal, you need to apply for a medical cannabis card.

Dangerous Delay in Medical Cannabis Treatment

Although the Drug and Policy Alliance are leaning pretty heavily on the state to take some action, New Mexico patients continue to suffer from this government snafu. However, the representatives of the department assure that patients can find other options for treatment until they get their cards if they contact their medical providers.

But do they mean the rollback to the dangerous and addictive medications medical cannabis patients have already left behind? While the current situation becomes more dangerous for patients, it plays into the hands of pharmaceutical companies that can receive millions in revenue while people are renewing their legal access to medical marijuana.

This situation may also force patients to break the law because they are not protected under the state medical marijuana program if their card is expired. These patients lose their right to possess and use medical cannabis even if it was legally prescribed and bought. They will also be punished for purchasing marijuana at the black market regardless of how severe their health condition is.

How to Change Your Designated Medical Cannabis Dispensary?
How to Change Your Designated Medical Cannabis Dispensary?
Applying for a medical marijuana card, you may discover that many American states require applicants to designate dispensaries. In some states, cannabis patients are allowed to choose only one designated dispensary for purchasing weed.

How Long Will the Situation Last?

Currently, the department is issuing about 2,700 medical cannabis cards per month and planning to manage the overload by the end of the summer. New Mexico patients are asked to contact the department only if more than 60 days have already passed, so that the agency has more time for processing.

Unfortunately, the department does not have any data on how many medical cannabis cards have already expired. This is very disappointing, as with such information they would be able to single out the most immediate cases and deal with them first.

But until New Mexico gets its act together, medical cannabis patients will continue to fall into the card delay trap and risk being arrested for possessing or any attempts of getting this natural remedy.

Do you think the state government should allow medical cannabis patients to use their expired cards until the system is fixed? Is it right for the patients arrested during this time to sue the state? We will be glad if you share your opinion in the comments below.

5 Tips to Help You Obtain Your First Medical Cannabis Card
5 Tips to Help You Obtain Your First Medical Cannabis Card
Almost half of America's states have legalized marijuana. Some states have quite strict laws about obtaining medical cannabis cards, with only a few medical conditions that qualify for this treatment. Other states decided to make the process of getting a medical marijuana card a bit simpler.
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