Updated: Friday, 05 Mar 2010, 11:41 PM MST
Published : Friday, 05 Mar 2010, 11:41 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The number of New Mexicans who've signed up for medical marijuana has doubled over the past six months to 1,100.
Some of those people are now taking classes to learn how to grow their own pot.
They have textbooks, take home projects and their pot plants even get graded.
There are books on how to do it, but state-licensed medical marijuana supplier Len Goodman is giving classes on how to grow pot.
After getting his own license to mass produce the plant, Goodman found a lot of people who have prescriptions for it can't afford it.
“Somewhere in excess of 50 percent of the patients and it could be as high as 75 percent of the patients,” Goodman said. “We could cut the price in half and there would be people who can't afford it.”
Goodman is now trying to keep them from going without or turning to the streets to buy it.
He opened up his office to host classes on how to grow cannabis.
“We had a couple of test classes they weren't right, they are not where they should be," Goodman said. “There was no supervision to curriculum; there was no supervision as to who the presenter was, as to the quality of it.”
Goodman has put a stop to that and is now running his own free classes.
“So we have developed the curriculum, along with other people, and put a course schedule together, and know who the presenter is, and know how they are going to present it," he said.
He expects to have a six-part class starting in a month and have his students harvesting their own marijuana within six months.
“They can grow sufficient medicine for themselves at a cost of $50-100 a month instead of paying $400-800 a month.” Goodman said.
To help them get started, every student gets a medical grade seedling to take home.
“The clones that we are giving people are exactly what we are growing.”
To make things clear, only licensed patients who have permission to grow their own plants are allowed in the class.
300 of the 1,100 medical marijuana patients in the state can grow their own, but they can't have more than four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a time.