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Anxiety disorders added as condition for medical cannabis in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Officials in New Mexico have approved anxiety disorders as a qualifying condition under the state’s medical marijuana program. When approving the move, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board cited that up to 25 percent of New Mexico’s adult population could be experiencing the effects of such disorders. The ruling takes effect Jan. 1.

The change came about after two advisory board members, physician assistant Stephanie Richmond and Dr. Jean-Paul Dedam, petitioned the board to add anxiety as a qualifying condition. Richmond said she hopes the measure will reduce the need for benzodiazepines, which are prescribed for anxiety disorders with the potential for dependency and negative side effects.