A recent court case in New Mexico concluded with a ruling that medical cannabis patients in state custody may still be allowed to consume their medicine.
The court case included the State of New Mexico vs. Joe Montaño of Albuquerque. Montaño sought to have access to medical cannabis while serving time in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center. With the help of cannabis company Ultra Health, Montaño’s case plea received extra attention. Upon the conclusion of the case, District Court Judge Lucy Solimon declared that no cannabis patient can be kept from access to medical cannabis while they are in state custody.
“[The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, Bernalillo County Chief of Corrections, Community Custody Officers] shall comply with the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act … and shall not penalize persons in custody or under the supervision of the Metropolitan Detention Center, including those in the Community Custody Program, for conduct allowed under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act,” Judge Solimon stated, according to the official judgement.
“This decision recognizes that persons in state custody have a right to access medical cannabis, just like any other medication,” says Jacob Candelaria, who served as counsel for Montaño. “The judge’s decision also again confirms what other New Mexico appellate and trial courts have said in recent years—that medical cannabis is no different from any other prescription medication and should be treated as such by the government in terms of taxation, coverage and availability.”
CEO and president of Ultra Health Duke Rodriguez also released a statement regarding the recent ruling for cannabis patients statewide. “This is a major victory not only for Mr. Montaño, but for every medical cannabis patient in New Mexico and across the United States,” Rodriguez said. “This ruling exemplifies the spirit of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act: cannabis is medicine and every patient deserves the legal right to access their medicine.”