Voices of the disabled


I am about to lose my Home to Sheriff Sale due to ERISA LTD insurance. The Insurance Company has been lying plus making fun of my one diagnosis Breast Cancer.

When the Insurance Company first denied me, I was very ill. Plus, my mother who lived in my home, died two weeks before. I never heard of ERISA. Unfortunately, I don’t believe my first attorney did either. This all started December 2011. I fired that Attorney February of 2014. He had been abusive to me. He also didn’t know what he was doing. I found this out because I was finally able to come to a conference with one of the Judges and the opposing team.

The attorney never talked to me about the case. Granted, I was ill I wasn’t dumb. I hold an undergraduate degree from The University of Pennsylvania. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University. I have a strong work history.

But the first attorney wanted to make the story about me being crazy my primary cause of disability. Even though I went through emergency abdominal surgery, a right breast mastectomy, and multiple other surgeries for my breast.I couldn’t get an ERISA attorney to save my life. First, they wouldn’t talk to me because I had an attorney. Second, when I fired him the ERISA attorneys still would not take my case. So my cousin got his friend, who is an attorney to help me.

That didn’t work either. The LTD Insurance Company acted in bad faith this entire time. The lies they filled my file with are outrageous. What they said in court were all lies about my disability.

I had to get a different attorney to try to help with my home. They were trying to get me an ERISA lawyer, but they were dragging their feet also.

A week ago, while I am trying to still get an ERISA attorney to help me, the secretary examined the court docket and discovered my case had been closed that very day, and I had lost.

I called my house lawyer. I was hysterical. This case had taken everything from me and now my home. The lawyer said he would go through things but I had 14 days to disagree. He called me today with the problem being the Insurance company was saying certain medicines for a diagnosis that was recent so my condition had to be preexisting.

But it wasn’t. The medication I took was for a completely different diagnosis. So I called my doctor’s office. The staff went through everything. The insurance company was completely wrong. I knew this the whole time but I didn’t think the Judge would believe such lies. But that is what happened over and over again.

The doctor’s office is now writing a letter that says not in any way was my medicine for a preexisting condition. And then I have to go fill out some papers to disagree with the Judge. But it has to get done by the end of next week.

I am just beside myself because I can’t lose my home.

Can you please help me? I am thinking of going to the media but I don’t know how and what to say. I really need help.”

Because politicians have nothing better to do


Bill calling for background checks of medical pot workers moves to House floor

House Bill 527, sponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, would authorize the state Department of Health to use the National Crime Information Center for criminal background checks of primary caregivers, employees and certain contractors of licensed nonprofit producers. Also subject to the checks would be manufacturers, couriers and laboratories approved for the medical marijuana program. Those found to have convictions for trafficking or distributing illegal drugs would be permanently disqualified from working in the program…

After the hearing, Pacheco told a reporter that the state Health Department, which oversees the program, asked him to sponsor the bill. He said he wasn’t aware of any instances in which criminals were found working in the medical marijuana program. “I’m just trying to make sure that the program is being administered properly and to safely provide service to people in the program,” he said.

Then why don’t you do something about the freaking price?

Nat Dean, a disability advocate from Santa Fe who has been in the program for six years due to a brain injury, told the committee she was concerned the bill would hurt the program. “Would my 71-year-old mother have to go through a background check if she became my primary caregiver?” Dean asked.

It’s an added expense, and a deterrent for new people who want to work in this industry.  But no, even in a state-authorized medical cannabis program, the discrimination has to continue; the drug war has to go on… and on and on.

Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said, “My concern is that we’re only applying this to one kind of medicine.” He gave an example of pharmacies using couriers to deliver prescription drugs — including addictive narcotics like OxyContin or oxycodone — to customers. “There is no NCIC check on that courier,” he said.

Egolf said that if HB 527 becomes law, janitorial services hired to clean up medical marijuana dispensaries and the cashiers at such stores would be subject to the background checks — though janitors and cashiers at pharmacies are not subject to such checks…

Part of the opioid “epidemic” is pharmacy employees stealing drugs.  I assume those employees are given background checks, but this hasn’t stopped the thefts.  And how often are drugs stolen by the employees of drug store contractors?  Only the DEA has that information.

Why is the Department of Health worried about a problem that doesn’t even exist?  Heck, they can’t even fix the problems that are right in front of their eyes.

State takes applications for medical pot growers

As reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican, Phaedra Haywood, on 3/6/2015:

Patients, would-be producers and other advocates have pushed, even litigated, for this to happen, pointing to the department’s own study showing the 23 producers currently growing the herb for more than 13,000 patients in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program were meeting only about 20 percent of patient demand.

But Department of Health spokesman Kenny Vigil said nobody applied for a new license on Friday, the first full day that applications were being accepted after the department reopened the process Thursday afternoon…

Gee, I wonder why no one wants to do business in New Mexico?  Especially within this restricted market?

The cost of applying for a license is $10,000, $9,000 of which will be refunded if the application is denied… Those applying for license renewals must pay $30,000 for the first 150 plants and an additional $10,000 for each additional 50 plants, for a total possible fee of $90,000…

And what will those fees be used for?  Where is the report that shows how all this money is being spent?

No wonder this state doesn’t allow collectives — with a pay day like that, it doesn’t want any other groups growing their own, which is what would help to bring down the price of medicine for patients.

Is this supposed to be a program for patients?  Nah, this program is all about restricting the amount of cannabis in circulation — as if that was both an important and necessary goal.  And patients pay the price every time they purchase from a dispensary in New Mexico.

The 13-page application for the nonprofit producer license asks applicants for a plethora of information, including the names of any financial backers and the criminal and fiscal histories of key personnel. It also asks applicants where they will grow marijuana, where they will distribute it and what type of security system they will use.

What it doesn’t inquire much information about — save a few questions asking if principals have been involved with other cannabis businesses — is whether the would-be producers know much about growing marijuana.

This program is doomed… doomed, I say.

Texas Republican Files Bill to “Regulate Marijuana Like Tomatoes”


“Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear,” says bill sponsor Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview).

It was no coincidence that the bill was introduced on March 2nd — Texas Independence Day.

This is what ignorance looks like…


To unravel the resulting confusion among users of this drug, there must first be broad agreement among all levels of government that cannabis is physically addictive, with serious consequences such as loss of working memory, cognitive impairment, even schizophrenia, and dangerous withdrawal symptoms like physical aggression.

Cannabis addiction is an epidemic in this country…

Arun Anand Ahuja
UNM student

2014 Fourth Quarter Report Summary

Compared to reports generated by other states for their medical cannabis programs, this one from New Mexico looks like it was prepared by a first grader.


Three producers reported serving fewer than 100 patients & six producers reported serving over 1,000 patients. 

Six producers reported yields over 30,000 grams.  Six producers reported yields less than 10,000 grams.

A rather uneven way to serve patients, don’t you think?  I guess it depends on where a patient lives as to whether they have access to the strains they need, at a price they can afford.

Average price per gram (flowers & buds) – Average per LNPP ‐ $11.33.  High ‐ $13.95 & 13.51.  Two producers reported the average price of $13.00 or more.  Low ‐ $6.03 & $7.83.  Two producers reported the average price under $10.00.

Okay, the high was not $13.95 — I’ve seen strains at $15 a gram.  And for $10/gram, all you get is shake.

Number of grams provided free of charge – 9,452.  Nineteen producers reported providing free medicine to patients.  High – 3,367 & 1,661.  Low – 7 & 24.  Eleven producers reported more than 150 grams provided free of charge.

Damn, wish I would have been offered medicine free of charge.

Product in stock (flowers & buds) – 301,542 grams.  Average per LNPP – 13,111 grams.  High – 83,000 & 59,765.  Five producers report over 10,000 grams in stock.  Low – 110 & 187.  Five producers reported 0 or did not report.

Did not report?  How nice that some dispensaries don’t have to file a report.  And five producers reported zero product in stock?

Eight producers reported no testing expense.

Wow, nice for them, huh?  But perhaps not so nice for their patients.

NMDOH Opens Application Process for Licensing of Non-Profit Producers


Media Contact:  We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-827-2619 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión Española:  En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa más accesible, también tenemos una versión española de este artículo disponible. Por favor, haga clic en el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.


The health department will accept applications until May 1.

Government hearing on controlled substances


Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the leaders of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Wednesday announced the caucus will hold a hearing on the quota system used to manage controlled substances in medicine in light of a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showing problems in the way the program is managed…

The hearing is planned for Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Witnesses are expected to include a representative of the DEA, the FDA and the GAO. A witness list and other details will be released at a later date.

More than 3,400 claims have been filed against New England Compounding


Tainted drugs settlement fund grows to $210 million

At least 64 people died and hundreds fell ill with fungal meningitis...

Dougherty said health insurance companies have placed liens on many patients, seeking access to their payouts to help cover medical bills the insurers paid. Dougherty said the federal government’s insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid, have placed such liens…

Among those who will be standing in line are the Blatt family in Parkersburg, W.Va. More than two years after tainted steroids were injected into his spine, sparking fungal meningitis, 35-year-old Dennis Blatt battles excruciating headaches daily, said his wife, Brandy Bibbee-Blatt.
She said the family has been receiving letters from the insurance company that paid for many of her husband’s surgeries and treatments.  “If we get any money, it will be held up in court. Not only are there medical bills to cover, but insurance companies want their money,” she said.

I’ve had more than one steroid injection, so this could have been me.  And $210 million for 3,400 claims is nothing.  It’s a slap in the face to every victim.

Tea Party attempt to recall Progressive city councilors in Las Cruces fails


Las Cruces City Council voted Monday to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by Jan. 2017.

C’mon, 2017?

It was just months ago when the same City Council voted to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 by Jan. 2016…  The proposal was brought forth by the grassroots organization, New Mexico CAFé, which stands for Comunidades en Accion y de Fe…