New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a measure that would increase the amount of medical cannabis registered patients could possess and licensed producers could grow. The measure would also remove the THC limits for medical cannabis in the state, but some lawmakers are concerned that a section of the bill would permit military veterans to enroll in the program without a qualifying condition diagnosis, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
The measure, SB.8, was introduced by Democratic state Sen. Cisco McSorley and would raise the personal possession limit to 5 ounces during a 30-day period and allow licensed producers to possess up to 1,000 cannabis plants during any three-month period. The bill also includes a provision allowing people undergoing treatment for addiction to access the program, following recommendations last year to add “opiate use disorder” to the qualifying condition list.
Yet, the veteran’s access recommendations under the plan had some members of the committee concerned — even those that supported the measure. McSorley said the change was necessary because many veterans who suffer from PTSD don’t want to be stigmatized with the diagnoses and suggested that admitting any veteran into the program would help reduce the number of suicides in the state.
Senators Bill Payne and Greg Baca, two veterans who sit on the committee, said they found the provision offensive because it implies that all veterans have PTSD. Another committee member, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, indicated he might “vote differently on the floor” asking whether the measure essentially legalizes recreational cannabis for veterans.
The committee approval allows the bill to be sent to the Senate for a full vote.