N.H. Becomes 19th State to Legalize MMJ

Jul 24, 2013

New Hamp­shire became the 19th state to legal­ize the med­i­c­i­nal use of mar­i­juana yes­ter­day, when Gov. Mag­gie Has­san signed a bill that passed the Leg­is­la­ture this year with bipar­ti­san sup­port. “Allow­ing doc­tors to pro­vide relief to patients through the use of appro­pri­ately reg­u­lated and dis­pensed med­ical mar­i­juana is the com­pas­sion­ate and right pol­icy for the state of New Hamp­shire, and this leg­is­la­tion ensures that we approach this pol­icy in the right way with mea­sures to pre­vent abuse,” Has­san said in a state­ment. The law takes effect imme­di­ately, but it may be well over a year before the pro­gram is up and run­ning. Patients must obtain a reg­istry ID card from the state and buy their mar­i­juana only at spe­cial non­profit dis­pen­saries, and admin­is­tra­tive rules for those facil­i­ties could take up to 18 months to final­ize. Still, yes­ter­day was a vic­tory for med­ical mar­i­juana advo­cates in the Gran­ite State. Sim­i­lar bills had passed the Leg­is­la­ture in 2009 and 2012, but both times were vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch, a Demo­c­rat. Has­san, a Demo­c­rat who took office this year, indi­cated she would sup­port a med­ical mar­i­juana pro­gram – so long as it con­trolled the legal sup­ply of mar­i­juana by requir­ing patients to buy it from dis­pen­saries instead of allow­ing them to grow it them­selves. “By pro­vid­ing strong reg­u­la­tory over­sight and clear dis­pens­ing guide­lines, this bill addresses many of the con­cerns that were expressed through­out the leg­isla­tive process,” Has­san said yes­ter­day. The bill did ini­tially con­tain a home-grow option, and passed the Democratic-led House on a 286–64 vote in March. The Republican-led Sen­ate, at Hassan’s request, removed that pro­vi­sion and sev­eral oth­ers before pass­ing the bill in May on a 18–6 vote. The final ver­sion, which did not con­tain the home-grow option, passed both cham­bers last month, the Sen­ate on a voice vote and the House on a 284–66 vote. “This leg­is­la­tion is long over­due and comes as a relief to the many seri­ously ill patients through­out New Hamp­shire who will ben­e­fit from safe access to med­ical mar­i­juana,” said Matt Simon, a leg­isla­tive ana­lyst for the Mar­i­juana Pol­icy Project, in a state­ment. “Those suf­fer­ing from debil­i­tat­ing con­di­tions like can­cer and mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis deserve legal, safe, and reli­able access to med­ical mar­i­juana.” Mar­i­juana remains ille­gal under fed­eral law. But in 1996, Cal­i­for­nia became the first state to legal­ize the med­ical use of the drug by bal­lot propo­si­tion, and other states have fol­lowed suit. New Hamp­shire is the 19th state to legal­ize med­ical mar­i­juana, and the last of the six New Eng­land states to do so. Med­i­c­i­nal use of cannabis is also legal in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, and Mary­land will become the 20th state when its law, which passed this spring, takes effect Oct. 1. Under New Hampshire’s pro­gram, seri­ously ill or ter­mi­nal patients can use mar­i­juana to ease their pain and other symp­toms. Can­cer, glau­coma, HIV, AIDS, hepati­tis C, Lou Gehrig’s dis­ease, mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy, Crohn’s dis­ease, Alzheimer’s dis­ease, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, chronic pan­cre­ati­tis, a spinal cord injury or dis­ease and trau­matic brain injury are all qual­i­fy­ing con­di­tions, as is any injury “that sig­nif­i­cantly inter­feres with daily activ­i­ties as doc­u­mented by the patient’s provider.” Source: Con­cord Mon­i­tor (NH) Author: Ben Leub­s­dorf, Mon­i­tor Staff Pub­lished: July 24, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 Mon­i­tor Pub­lish­ing Com­pany Con­tact: letters@​cmonitor.​com URL: http://​drugsense​.org/​u​r​l​/​K​s​e​Z​W​2Kc Web­site: http://​www​.con​cord​mon​i​tor​.com

995b97dbfcsary1.jpeg 150x99 N.H. Becomes 19th State to Legalize MMJ

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N.H. Becomes 19th State to Legal­ize MMJ

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