Last week, a district court judge in Albuquerque ruled that the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center must let inmates access medical cannabis if they have a valid license and if a doctor prescribes it.
The ruling includes not penalizing people under house arrest for their medical use, which was the situation for a New Mexico man, Joe Montano. Jacob Candelaria, Albuquerque lawyer and state senator, represents Montano and made the challenge in court.
“The fundamental issue here is every person’s constitutional right to access medical care when they are under the custody or supervision of the state,” Candelaria said.
He said it’s medicine, just like any other prescription. Candelaria hopes MDC can work quickly on this, and that other jails and prisons can voluntarily give this access.
“My simple hope, and my client’s simple hope, is that those in government will simply follow the law, and that’s not a very outlandish request,” Candelaria said.
KOB 4 has not heard back from an MDC spokesperson or the Department of Corrections in response to this topic. It’s still unclear how this ruling will impact federal inmates in New Mexico prisons or state inmates in facilities contracted by the federal government.