NM should put cannabis patients ahead of profits – Albuquerque Journal

With over 100,000 patients currently enrolled in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, the state Legislature must guarantee that patient protections remain a top priority during the 2021 legislative session.

With an increased public willingness to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes and a political desire for increased tax revenue, the decision to legalize recreational cannabis must not occur in a political vacuum nor a mad dash for cash during a pandemic causing undue economic and societal hardships.

I’ve been at the forefront of New Mexico’s medical cannabis debate for two decades, first, as an activist advocating legalization for medicinal purposes. Secondly, as the founder and president of R. Greenleaf Organics, one of the state’s top medical cannabis providers.

Serving thousands of patients annually, we’ve grown to employ over 150 New Mexicans and serve patients at eight clinics located in Albuquerque, Roswell, Las Cruces and Grants. Our mission remains to provide high-quality, safe cannabis medicine for New Mexico’s most vulnerable patients.

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The proposed Cannabis Wellness Bill is a responsible alternative to the legalization of recreational cannabis. This approach safeguards our medical cannabis program by expanding a system that is already functional but does so in a measured way. It will also immediately generate new tax revenue without additional, excessive and costly bureaucracy.

While neighboring states rush to legalize, New Mexico faces significant and unique drug abuse and addiction challenges. It’s essential to recognize that what’s right for other states may
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