Medical Cannabis Passes NH Senate

Pot LeafThe Concord Patch has the story about the weak medical cannabis bill that has passed the NH Senate. The bill is very restrictive and in no way, “live free or die”. But, I guess it’s a baby step in the right direction. Ugh, politics sucks.

Medical marijuana is a step closer to reality for people suffering from serious diseases and health problems in New Hampshire. The state Senate voted 18-6 on Thursday to pass a medical marijuana bill.

The bill is an amended version of the House-passed bill. If the House doesn’t concur with the changes, leadership in each chamber will pick members to sit on a committee of conference to iron out differences in the legislation.

Sen. John Reagan (R-Deerfield), a sponsor of the bill, said the bill would bring New Hampshire in level with 17 other states, including neighboring Vermont and Maine, with similar laws.

The Senate version does not feature an allowance for a qualified patient to grow up to three mature marijuana plants – the removal of that language was, in part, to win over Gov. Maggie Hassan’s support for the legislation, senators said.

The amended bill includes four alternative treatment centers which would, after being approved and registered with the state, be authorized to acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis – as well as related supplies – to qualifying patients and treatment centers.

A qualified patient would have to have at least a three-month medical relationship with a licensed provider.

Qualifying medical conditions, according to the Senate amendment, include: severely debilitating or terminal medical conditions, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pancreatitis, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury, or one or more injuries that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s provider.

A qualified patient would not be subject to arrest by state or local law enforcement for possession of up to two ounces of usable cannabis and any amount of cannabis considered unusable. There are similar protections for qualified caregivers and medical professionals.