New Hampshire: Senate Passes Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

Members of the New Hampshire Senate voted 18 to 6 today in favor of an amended version of House Bill 573, which allows for the physician-authorized use and state-licensed dispensing of cannabis to qualified patients. House lawmakers had previously voted 286 to 64 in March in favor of a broader version of the bill.

As amended by the Senate, HB 573 would establish up to four state-sanctioned marijuana dispensing facilities. (The House version allowed for up to five facilities.) State-qualified patients would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis, but they would only be legally able to obtain it from a state-licensed dispensary. (The House version of the bill provided provisions for home cultivation.) Under the amended bill, patients lacking a state-issued identification card would not be permitted to raise an affirmative defense, meaning that patients who could benefit immediately from the therapeutic use of cannabis will be forced to wait several months until after the bill’s passage in order to obtain the necessary paperwork to receive any legal protection under the law. The Senate also voted to eliminate post-traumatic stress from the list of authorized conditions for which a physician could legally recommend marijuana therapy.

The measure also stipulates that qualified patients must possess a preexisting relationship with their physician (of at least 90 days) and that they have previously pursued conventional remedies to treat their condition.

Newly-elected Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan had voiced her opposition to several elements of the House version, which spurred the Senate to adopt several changes.

The Senate version of the bill now goes back to the House, whose members will either sign off on or, more likely, reject the Senate’s amendments. The latter action would create the need for a “committee of conference,” at which time a special committee of House representatives and senators will compromise on a final version of the bill. That language will then be forwarded to the governor’s desk.

If you reside in New Hampshire, there is still time to contact the Governor’s office and urge her to rethink her position on these controversial Senate amendments. Tell her that these Senate provisions will hurt, not help, patients in New Hampshire. Implore her that seriously ill patients can not wait years for for dispensaries to become available and that they require a home grow alternative. You can call the Governor’s office or use NORML’s ‘Act’ page here.

Finally, House Bill 573 co-sponsor, Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright, has launched a petition urging Gov. Hassan to amend her position. Whether or not you reside in New Hampshire, please sign the petition and share it with your friends and colleagues.

For information on how you can support pending marijuana law reform legislation in other states, please visit here.

10 thoughts

  1. “The Senate voted to eliminate post-traumatic stress from the list of authorized conditions for which a physician could legally recommend marijuana therapy.”

    Post-traumatic stress is common among war veterans. Folks returning from war deserve better treatment than this. Waving flags and giving self-serving patriotic speeches doesn’t honor their service anywhere nearly enough.

  2. “The Senate also voted to eliminate post-traumatic stress from the list of authorized conditions for which a physician could legally recommend marijuana therapy.”

    Are you kidding me? Almost every veteran I know uses cannabis to medicate, those you don’t are raging alcoholics. They want to forget the death and destruction they’ve seen overseas. This is ridiculous, our veterans deserve better.

  3. YEAH YEAH !!!!! A step in the right direc…uhhhh now hold on one darn second. It appears we have been blindsided with regulations AGAIN! So lemme get this straight. Medical Cannabis is legal except as noted in the 25,000 pages of law code and exemptions and disclaimers and on and on and on and on.

    When will they learn to make laws simple and straight forward? LegalNot Legal. Legal for Medical with doctors approvalNot legal for Medical withOUT doctors approval. Simple. If your doctor thinks it will work, JOY HAPPINESS, YEAH BABY. If your doctor laughs at you … find a new doctor.

    I wonder what it would be like to be raised by a politician…Your bed time is 10pm UNLESS … read the following 20,000 pages and sign at the bottom kid’o. I would have been grounded FOREZEVER.

  4. She won’t sign anything that includes allowing patients to grow their own, no home grows because she claims it’s too hard to control it. That’s bullshit. What’s going to happen is that NH will have the law on paper only because the feds will threaten the state. You’ve heard of the goose that lays the golden egg. Well, I’ll shit a brick (of Nederhash) it she actually stands up to the feds and actual brick and mortar stores open up. This is the same shit I heard about the Washington law that you can’t grow your own. Total bullshit. Colorado has got it going on. I love that Rocky Mountain Way. Joe Walsh, baby! Yeah!

  5. Making changes through Congress could be equated to building a house with a tack hammer. It’s a long, slow process and the end result may have little resemblance to the original design. A key factor in moving a bill through Congress is obtaining lots of cosponsors. If a bill is in a committee and the committee chair doesn’t see a lot of cosponsors for the bill, that chairperson might think that the bill has little support and the bill would divert committee attention from other more important bills. So the bill would quite likely die in committee without ever seeing any action in the House or the Senate.
    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca48) has introduced H.R.1523 to the House of Representatives. This bill, known as the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013”, would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that the provisions of that act regarding marijuana would not apply to citizens of states which have recognized the rights of marijuana consumers and changed their laws regarding marijuana. The wording of the bill is as follows: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marijuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marijuana.” This act would apply equally to medical marijuana states and to other states (currently Washington and Colorado)that have given their citizens greater freedom regarding the possession and use of marijuana.
    H.R.1523 is currently sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee with 16 cosponsors. The “magic number” to move a bill out of committee I’m told is 30 cosponsors. So the bill needs at least another 14 cosponsors to have a chance of seeing action in Congress.
    Numerous bills have been introduced to the House regarding changing the laws regarding marijuana, but they all die in committee due to lack of cosponsors. I have examined these bills dating back to 2011 and have made a listing of cosponsors on these bills. These Representatives should be contacted by citizens in their respective districts and encouraged to cosponsor H.R.1523. A personal visit is the most effective way to persuade, but phone calls, letters, and emails are also effective. I have not included those who have already cosponsored H.R.1523 in this list. Nor did I duplicate names which have cosponsored two or more bills.
    H.R.784 States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act. Introduced Feb 15,2013 by Barbara Lee(D-Ca13)
    Eric Swalwell (D-Ca 15)
    H.R.1983: States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act introduced may 25, 2011. Died in committee
    Fortney “Pete” Stark (D-Ca 13)
    Zoe Lofgren (D Ca 16)
    Lynn Woolsey (D-Ca 6)
    Hinchey, Maurice (D-NY 22)
    Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8)
    Bob Filner (D-Ca 51)
    Michael “Mike” Honda (D-Ca17)
    Jay Inslee (D-Wa 1)
    John Olver (D-Ma 1)
    James “Jim” McGovern (D-Ma3)
    Mike Thompson (D-Ca 1)
    Chellie Pingree (D-Me 1)
    H.R.689 States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act . Introduced Feb 14,2013 by Rep.Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3)
    Jared Huffman (D-Ca 2)
    Eric Swalwell (D-Ca 15)
    Alan Lowenthal (D-Ca 47)
    Ed Pastor (D-Az 7)
    Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4)
    H.R.2943 Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009. Introduced June 18, 2009 by Rep Barney Frank. Died in committee.
    Tammy Baldwin (D-WI 2)
    Dennis Kucinich (D-OH 10)
    George Miller (D-CA 7)
    Michael Capuano (D-MA 8)
    Jim McDermott (D-WA 7)
    H.R.5842: Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. Introduced Apr 17,2008 by Barney Frank (D-MA 4) Died in committee.
    Lynn Woolsey (D-Ca 6)
    Bob Filner (D-CA 51)
    Shelley Berkley (D-NV 1)
    Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX 18)
    Steven Rothman (D-NJ 9)
    Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3)
    Barbara Lee (D-CA 9)
    Eleanor Norton (D-DC 0)
    Lacy Clay (D-MO 1)
    Henry Waxman (D-CA 30)
    H.R.1831 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 Introduced by Rep. Ronald “Ron” Paul on May 11, 2011. Died in committee.
    Keith Ellison (D-MN 5)
    Tom McClintock (R-CA 4)
    John Campbell (R-CA 48)
    Dennis “Denny” Rehlberg (R-MT 0)
    Peter Welch (D-VT 0)
    Kurt Schrader (D-OR 5)
    Collin Peterson (D-MN 7)
    Timothy Johnson (R-IL 15)
    Hansen Clarke (D-MI 13)
    Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1)
    Richard Hanna (R-NY 24)
    Thomas Massie (R-KY 4)
    H.R. 525 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 introduced Feb 6, 2013 by Rep Thomas Massie
    John Yarmuth (D-KY 3)
    Ted Yoho (R-FL 3)
    Todd Young (R-IN 9)
    Diana DeGette (D-CO 1)
    Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI 11)
    Steve Daines (R-MT 0)
    Steve Stockman (R-TX 36)
    Ed Perlmutter (D-CO 7)
    Trey Radel (R-FL 19)
    Kevin Cramer (R-ND 0)
    Steve Stivers (R-OH 15)
    Cory Gardner (R-CO 4)

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