Police in New Mexico showed up at a suspect’s door, ready to make a bust, only to discover he was a patient under the state’s medical cannabis program, says the Associated Press. It was the first inkling that officers had about legal pot in the area. Law enforcement agencies in New Mexico and other states with privacy provisions in medical marijuana laws worry that such situations drain their resources unnecessarily and could have a different ending in which someone gets hurt.
Boulder, Co., police have complained about their state’s grower confidentiality provisions, saying officers spent considerable time investigating operations that turned out to have pot legally. Providence, R.I., police secretly monitored a suspected dealer, only to find out he was allowed to have marijuana, too. New Mexico police say the state Department of Health, which runs the state’s program, should make it easier for them to find out who’s licensed to produce medical marijuana in their jurisdiction. New Mexico’s program, which started in 2008, still is in its infancy, with “many, many unanswered issues and questions we are slowly working our way through,” said state Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil. “The relationship with law enforcement is one of those.”