Perry looks to create city medical marijuana law

April 1, 2014 • Local News

City Council will consider a new ordinance that would place heavy restrictions on the distribution of medical marijuana within city borders.

The new law would essentially ban state-licensed medical marijuana distributors from locating in city limits and selling to patients.

City Councilor Jason Perry proposed the set of rules Tuesday to the Planning and Zoning Committee.

The new ordinance would require medical marijuana to only be sold by a licensed pharmacist. And, each prescribed dose would need a state-issued controlled substance number and federally issued Drug Enforcement Administration number.

These do not yet exist for the drug.

“Until the DEA can find a way to safely administer medical cannabis, I don’t want to get into the gambling game with the devil,” Perry said.

“Right now, the DEA does not prescribe for Schedule 1 (controlled substances). The day will come,” he said.

Cities cannot be less restrictive with state issues or state laws.

“In this particular situation, we can’t be less restrictive, but we can be more restrictive,” Perry said. “We are going to be requiring it to be a licensed pharmacy. My reason for that … it is a prescription.”

Perry’s main reason for proposing the city law was the inconsistency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active [auth] ingredient, levels in plants.

The purpose of the ordinance would be “to ensure all legal prescription drugs in all forms, both state and federally, are dispensed in such a manner that is both safe and consistent.”

Medical marijuana cannot currently be administered at consistent doses, according to information provided to him, Perry said.

“Maybe I would feel better if this was the only option for people to get relief from pain or tremors. But I know there are options for all 19 conditions. This is not the save-all that some corners would want us to believe.”

Perry consulted with Chaves County Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers. Rogers, a retired New Mexico State Police drug enforcement officer and authority on narcotics, advised Perry that every marijuana plant differs in its chemical make-up, Perry said.

“You may pull out one and test it and it may be perfectly safe. You take the next one and it may be way above,” Perry said. “There is not a way to regulate a safe form (of the drug).”

New Mexico was the first in the nation to have its health department license and regulate a nonprofit medical marijuana distribution system. People can be issued prescription cards if they qualify with any of the 19 approved conditions. At least 170 state-licensed patients live in Chaves County.

The state has 23 licensed nonprofit distributors, mostly in the northern region. The DOH has announced a plan to add 12 more distributors in the state to meet an increasing demand.

Under a new proposal, producers would be able to boost crops to keep up with a growing number of patients.

Perry said the city had looked into medical marijuana issues with zoning since 2010, as it related to state and federal laws. He was concerned about legally allowing a business to open only to later find that a change in federal administration would put the city in hot water.

“The current administration is turning a blind eye to cannabis,” Perry said. “What if we get another president, not Obama? Now we put ourselves in a situation of a federal indictment and have to deal with a federal lawsuit. We’re not saying anything is illegal. This is how everything is distributed. We’re one step above and ahead of every city in New Mexico.”

His other option was to propose to ban sales completely, Perry said.

“This is saying, once the feds get their ducks in a row, everything goes forward,” Perry said.

After speaking to a pharmacist, he was enlightened, he said. The substance in marijuana can already be prescribed in other pharmaceuticals and taken without getting high, he said.

“It’s the exact same thing,” Perry said. “It’s not a matter of anyone not getting relief of their pain. The drug-induced high does not come with it. This is just saying, if any prescription is being given out as prescribed, it needs to be handled by a licensed pharmacy.”

Committee members and Councilors Tabitha Denny and Savino Sanchez voted to send the ordinance to City Council April 10. Councilors will consider whether to advertise the ordinance for a public hearing, in order for the new law to be considered at its meeting in May.

Compassionate Distributors, which operates a state-licensed store in Ruidoso, has invested in a building in Roswell and expects to open its doors to the satellite location within the week.

The distributor secured a city permit by applying as a professional medical office that provides alternative health care.

Perry and city staff have researched past city licenses and said he believes the owners of Compassionate Distributors misrepresented the business. He intends to seek action to revoke the license.

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2 Responses to Perry looks to create city medical marijuana law

  1. murphy says:

    Obviously Mr. Perry has little to do, someone find him a job. You are absolutely wrong when you talk about all the drugs for pain. You don’t mention serious side affects or ADDICTION of most opiate pain killers. The people that get relief from marijuana and have a prescription card should not have to travel hundreds of miles to get it. and should not be made to feel like criminals. Like aegarcia2 said, focus on the gangs and drug dealers of meth, heroin, coke…..and leave the medical marijuana alone. Good grief.

  2. argonzales77 says:

    My dad and brother use medical and my dads insurance pays for it. A sheriff delivers it to him with proper ID. When have you heard of anyone overdosing or committing violence. Marijuana is not a bad drug nor is it a gateway drug. If you want to make a change for our community then look at alcohol, ice, meth, cocaine. Those are way worse than weed. My brother is on medical due to an alcoholic hitting him. He was diagnosed as PTSD. He was seriously hurt along with several friends. The person who hit him was 19 yrs old and it wasn’t her first DWI nor her last. The day she hit my brother she was to have turned herself in for 3 days but decided she wanted to have one last fun weekend .. And what did she get a slap on the hand with probation. She was also going thru 3 different court cases related to alcohol and accidents at time of this accident. This is something you need to address not medical that actually help people. There are all kinds of strains that help with different symptoms. so Yes they will each have a different amount of THC. Some will help with appetite, others with nausea, some for pain. Lists goes on and on. if it wasn’t for medical I do not believe my dad will be here today. He has Leukemia and Dr’s keep givinf him months to live and he is still here 3 yrs later thanks to medical. it helps with the pain and gives him an appetite so he don’t starve. Yes he does take all the prescribed meds. Morphine, ocycodone etc. he takes over 40 pills a day but the medical is what is really helping him no side effects. So Mr Perry You need to do more research and not with Law enforcement, with the people who suffer everyday and need medical to help survive. Even the DEA has backed away from prosecuting weed in very small quantities. I understand if thy are distributing it and have pounds then yes prosecute not ban. My brother has to travel to get his. My dad gets his delivered by Sheriff Deputies. I believe this is a good way tom regulate. God forbid nothing happens to a member of your family who would benefit from it.

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