ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A state legislator wants the Border Patrol to reconsider its policy for seizing medical marijuana at checkpoints in southern New Mexico.
Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, sent the head of Border Patrol’s parent agency a letter last week questioning the practice given that New Mexico has a program allowing use of marijuana for certain medicinal purposes.
McCamley acknowledged that marijuana remains illegal under federal law but said federal policy should reflect the reality of New Mexico’s program, the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1fLNAXT ) reported.
The Border Patrol’s policy means medical marijuana users who live in southern New Mexico can’t take their marijuana elsewhere in the state, McCamley said.
Ramiro Cordero, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, said the agency “enforces federal law” and seizes illegal substances found during inspections. However, he said prosecutions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Cordero said the Border Patrol does not break out seizures of medical marijuana from statistics of overall marijuana seizures, but he said a review of a sample of seizures did not turn up any confiscations of medical marijuana.
MJ Express-O, a Truth or Consequences-based medicinal marijuana producer, delivers to Las Cruces weekly. The Border Patrol will confiscate the drug at a checkpoint if any is left over on the ride north, said patient advocate Melissa Loomis.
“We understand they are doing their job,” she said. “So we need to change the law.”
McCamley wants Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, to revise its policy and follow the Department of Justice guidelines that set other priorities for drug enforcement.
“Their official policy is to detain folks and seize their medicine,” he said.