Another Shot at Medical Marijuana for New Hampshire
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 03/18/2011 in Medical Marijuana Laws
Medical Marijuana proponents in New Hampshire still remember two years ago, when a medical marijuana bill made it all the way to Governor John Lynch’s desk, only to be vetoed. And despite the House voting to pass the bill over the veto, the Senate came up two votes short. But this week, medical marijuana is given a second chance with the passing of H.B. 442 by the NH House.
H.B. 422, which was introduced by cancer survivor Rep. Evalyn Merrick (D-Coos) and is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford), would eliminate state-level penalties for the use of medical marijuana by qualified patients—and make New Hampshire the 16th state to pass medical cannabis laws for seriously ill residents of the state. Like most other state medical marijuana laws, patients would need to get a recommendation form their doctor, and register with the state.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has a Republican supermajority of close to 3:1. But the bill still was overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 221-96, or by 69.7%. These numbers fare even better than other Democrat controlled sessions, proving that the support of cannabis for seriously ill patients in need of safe access to their medicine is so important that it transcends party lines. It’s the humane thing to do. And it’s fortunately sweeping across the nation, with more than a dozen other state legislatures considering marijuana laws this year.
New Hampshire voters are also in strong support of H.B. 442. A 2008 poll reported that 71% of New Hampshire residents support the medical use of cannabis, with only 21% opposed to it. Let’s just hope that the Senate and the Governor feel the same way. H.B. is now on it’s way to the Senate, where it must pass before once again landing on the desk of the governor. Let’s hope he makes the right decision this time.