Last year, supporters of marijuana use for health purposes cheered when a bill became law. They’ve since been frustrated, however, over the timeframe of dispensaries and patient cards, also the lack of a “grow your own” option. But others say patience is needed, that implementation should be done carefully to avoid dangerous mistakes.
The attorney general's office is advising against issuing identification cards this summer to New Hampshire residents eligible to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana for medicinal purposes under a new state law.
You would think that the commissioner of the state’s largest agency has one of the biggest to-do lists of the year, and for Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas, you’re probably right. A new year brings new challenges for Toumpas: with Medicaid, there’s the implementation of its managed care program, as well as the continuing debate over its expansion.
The commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services says he’s concerned about the cost to his department of implementing the state’s new medical marijuana law.
Appearing on The Exchange, Nicholas Toumpas says there is no shortage of issues facing his staff as it works through the early stages.
“There are legal issues that we have, there are systems issues that need to be developed, there are protocols that need to be developed, there is staffing that is required in order to go off and certify and license.”
After a few attempts and two defeats by veto, New Hampshire became the last New England state to pass a medical marijuana bill into law. The law is one of the strictest in the country as users cannot grow their own plants and the list of ailments allowed are small. Now as the state prepares for it, it also has to answer questions around dispensing the drug and how to keep it in the right people's hands. We'll look at the big unanswered questions and what roadblocks still may be in the way.
Governor Hassan signed a bill Tuesday, making New Hampshire the 19th state to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana.
Hassan says the law breaks new ground by giving seriously ill patients what they need – medical marijuana from up to four state-authorized dispensaries.
“We’re really looking forward to getting them up and running as quickly as possible but also making sure again that we’re doing it the right way for New Hampshire and that we can prevent abuse, as well.”
Before going into recess, lawmakers in Concord will vote this week on the state budget and other deals reached during committees of conference, including Voter ID and medical marijuana. The Democratically-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate have been at odds over a number of policy issues, but areas of disagreement over the budget were smaller than possibly expected, with the final budget including provisions sought by both chambers and Governor Hassan.
At issue for Governor Hassan was a provision in the House version of the bill that would allow qualifying patients to grow their own marijuan. Hassan also didn’t like that the House wanted to permit doctors to prescribe cannabis to treat PTSD.
The N.H. Senate had removed both provisions from the its version bill at Hassan’s behest, and House negotiators say under the circumstances going along made sense. Concord Democrat Jim McKay is Chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Today on The Exchange, it's our Friday New Hampshire News Roundup. We're looking at some of the top stories of the week, from the one public hearing held on the state Senate's budget, to the House's hard look at the Senate casino bill, and the removal of "grow your own" policy from the medical marijuana bill.
Kevin Landrigan - Longtime political reporter for the Telegraph of Nashua.
Go to any medical marijuana hearing and you will hear people suffering from severe illness or injury extolling the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. But in NH you have never heard things like this. Elizabeth Woodcock is with the NH Department of Justice:
The NH attorney general’s office is willing to work with the committee and with the medical community to see if we can resolve the concerns that we have about the bill, and that’s the only thing I came to say.
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.
Marijuana is now legal in Washington and Colorado and medical marijuana is legal or pending approval in dozens of states across the country, including New Hampshire which is voting on a bill tomorrow. It raises the question: how high is too high to drive under the influence of pot? That’s something to consider here in New Hampshire, where a UNH/ WMUR poll showed 79% approval for legalizing medical marijuana. Josh Harkinson covers a wide range of topics for Mother Jones, and recently wrote about the as-yet-undefined meaning of driving under the influence.