It’s hard, sometimes, to really rank and assess the different state medical marijuana programs—because while there are surely some subtle distinctions from one state to the next, the majority of state-run medical marijuana initiatives are really pretty similar. The possession limits can be different, the lists of qualifying conditions can vary, and access to dispensaries is always a wildcard—but overall, these programs are often cut from the same cloth.
With that said, there is one state program that manages to distinguish itself from the rest, by simple virtue of offering the most numerous options and the most accommodating stance toward MMJ patients. The program in question, it might surprise you to learn, is that of New Mexico—a state that has had legal medical marijuana use for several years now and is not praised for its outstanding program nearly as often as it should be
What Makes New Mexico’s Program Superior
There are several factors that conspire to make New Mexico a uniquely accommodating state for patients who need access to medical marijuana—among them:
- One important reason to single out the New Mexico program is that it lists PTSD as a qualifying condition, something many other states fail to do. PTSD is recognized as a grave medical condition, and there is ample evidence to suggest that marijuana can be an effective medicinal treatment, yet some states prohibit its use for this purpose. New Mexico shines by allowing PTSD patients to get access to the medicine they need.
- Possession limit is a hugely important issue for MMJ patients. Low possession limits are not only inconvenient, but sometimes restrictive to patients getting the full quantity of medicine they need. New Mexico has a possession limit of six ounces—which is nearly three times what you’re able to possess in most other states.
- Patients in New Mexico are free to go to any New Mexico dispensary they choose, rather than having to designate just one—providing actual consumer choice and convenience.
- There is no fee required for patients to register, unlike in other states—and while fees are usually not too excessive, this is still a nice way in which New Mexico makes it easy and low-hassle for medical marijuana patients to get what they need.
- All hospice patients qualify.
- Finally, pricing in New Mexico is fairly competitive; it costs somewhere in the vicinity of $13 per gram, which is pretty much par for the course.
Other Details About New Mexico’s MMJ Program
Beyond these few distinguishing factors a few other pertinent points about medical marijuana in New Mexico include:
- While there is no fee to register you will need to get the help of a physician; your doctor must fill out your medical certification before you’re admitted into New Mexico’s program, and depending on your medical condition you may need to file some support documents, too.
- Minors are eligible for New Mexico’s program, but the parent or legal guardian needs to register as a caregiver first.
- Sadly, New Mexico—like most other states—fails to recognize MMJ registration from other states. This may be the biggest problem with the program, though again, it’s par for the course.
Finally, it is crucial to remember that, for as great as the New Mexico program is, it doesn’t change the fact that marijuana possession is illegal under federal law. Caution is sadly necessary for MMJ patients, even in states with great programs like New Mexico’s. But that’s a glass-half-empty approach, maybe: New Mexico’s program truly is great, and hopefully will serve as an example for other programs as they develop and mature. You can read more through our FAQ's on the New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program Information.