SANTA FE (DPA) —Yesterday the Secretary of Health denied a petition to add Alzheimer’s disease to the list of medical conditions eligible for the medical cannabis program, even though the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted unanimously to recommend making neurodegenerative dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, qualifying conditions.
Alzheimer’s disease, similar to many of the conditions presently included in New Mexico’s Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, is a neurologic disease and has no known cure. Existing medications provide only temporary relief, without stopping the progression of the disease.
“It is really unfortunate that New Mexicans suffering from Alzheimer’s related dementia, which often leads to a refusal to eat and combative moods, will not be allowed to seek relief from medical cannabis,” said Jessica Gelay, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “There are no curative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and, as the peer-reviewed evidence submitted to the department of health shows, there is reason to believe that medical cannabis could be helpful for people afflicted with this terminal condition.”