New Hampshire

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New Hampshire: House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill 14-1

Photo - New Hampshire: House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill 14-1By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill to allow New Hampshire residents with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana moved one step closer to becoming law on Thursday when it was approved 14-1 by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. House Bill 573 will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), would allow seriously ill patients to use medicinal cannabis if their doctors recommend it. Patients would be allowed to grow up to three mature marijuana plants in their homes, or obtain cannabis through one of five nonprofit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has expressed support for passing medical marijuana legislation. A similar medical marijuana bill that passed with bipartisan support last session was vetoed by then-Governor John Lynch.

Prior to the vote, Rep. Patrick Culbert (R-Pelham) made an emotional plea to his colleagues, sharing his experience caring for his wife, Judy, as she slowly died of cancer. He recounted how she found relief from her "agonizing" symptoms the one time she tried using medical marijuana -- but did not use it again, because she feared being arrested.

"People like Judy shouldn't have to die like that," Rep. Culbert said. "She should have died with dignity and she didn't."

New Hampshire: House Approves Decriminalizing Marijuana

By Norma Love, Associated Press Writer

New Hampshire: House Approves Decriminalizing Marijuana CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire's House voted Wednesday to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults, but the victory was followed immediately by the governor's pledge to veto the bill.

The House voted 214-137 to send a bill to the Senate to allow adults to possess one-quarter ounce or less of the substance. It also would decriminalize transporting less than one-quarter ounce of the drug.

Anyone under age 18 caught with one-quarter ounce or less would be subject to a $200 fine. The youth's parents would be notified and he or she would have to complete a drug awareness program and community service within one year of the violation. Failing to comply would result in a $1,000 fine.

Wednesday's vote comes seven months after Gov. John Lynch vetoed legalizing medical use of the drug. Lynch also opposes the new House bill, and immediately after the House vote said he would veto it.

"Marijuana is a controlled drug that remains illegal under federal law. I share the law enforcement community's concerns about proliferation of this drug," Lynch said. "In addition, New Hampshire parents are struggling to keep their kids away from marijuana and other drugs. We should not make the jobs of parents -- or law enforcement -- harder by sending a false message that some marijuana use is acceptable."

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