NH News
4:22 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

House Panel Backs Medical Marijuana 14-1

A bill to legalize medical marijuana has cleared a committee of the New Hampshire House on a 14-1 vote. And the final version of the bill was rewritten with an eye towards placating the state’s Medical Society.

Might calling medical marijuana, “therapeutic cannabis” cause the medical lobby to drop it oppositions? Backers of this re-jiggered bill hope so. Matt Simon is with the marijuana policy project.

“I don’t care if we call it pretzels. I want people to be protected from arrest and be able to use this."

Taking “marijuana” out of the title of this bill was a suggestion of the New Hampshire Medical Society --and with Governor Lynch, who twice vetoed medical marijuana bills now out of office, the Society may be the biggest barrier to medical marijuana becoming legal here.

Prior to the committee vote, Republican Patrick Culbert of Pelham told colleagues legal access to marijuana would have helped his wife, who died from cancer.

“People like Judy shouldn't have to die like that. She should have died with dignity and she didn’t.”

The bill envisions five state-licensed distribution centers. It heads to the full House for a vote next week.

Backers says they expect it to pass and also win support in the Senate.

Governor Hassan has said she’d sign what she’s termed a “tightly controlled” medical marijuana law.  But she’s also expressed concern about allowing patients to grow their own marijuana, which this bill allows.