Albuquerque, N.M. - New Mexico officials are currently working to grow the number of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana.
New Mexico is just one of 13 states that currently has medical marijuana programs available for patients and health officials say it is an essential need in the "Land of Enchantment".
The program's medical advisory board met Thursday afternoon and voted to add Alzheimer's disease and all types of neurodegenerative dementia to the list of qualifying medical conditions allowed to use marijuana in treatments.
Health secretary Retta Ward will ultimately make the final decision in adding these diseases to the list of medical conditions and so far, it is unclear when this decision will be made, but the Drug Policy Alliance says it is a crucial need and that there are more than 30,000 New Mexicans living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is expected to increase to more than 40,000 by 2025.
Supporters of this push for medical marijuana treatments also claim using it could help with brain inflammation and better sleep patterns for those living with the disease.