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.
A New Hampshire House Committee votes tomorrow morning on a bill allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. If the bill becomes law, it would make New Hampshire the last New England state to allow medical marijuana. Supporters say that, for some patients, it's the only hope and that New Hampshire needs to catch up with the rest of the region. But concerns of medical marijuana remain, like how to ensure it's only used by truly needy patients and fears that this is just the first step to legalizing pot.
A proposal to legalize medical marijuana went before a house committee today. Lead Sponsor, Exeter Democrat Donna Schlachman promoted the plan as one that has profited from experiences -- good and bad -- of medical marijuana laws passed in other states.
"You cannot physician shop, and just start getting multiple prescriptions. You have to be a qualifying patient, and there is very strict definition of what qualifies you for this prescription._
Newly-elected Governor Maggie Hassan has expressed willingness to support medical marijuana, which means this year’s attempt at a bill stands a better chance of becoming law. To get an idea of how things could play out if that happens, we thought we'd turn to our western neighbor, Vermont, and see how the program is working there.
Shayne Lynn of Burlington recently obtained a license to operate a state-sanctioned dispensary. I began by asking him why he's starting a dispensary.
The rest of New England now allows use of marijuana for certain health conditions. And with a Governor-elect saying she’s open to the idea here….supporters are feeling hopeful. But opponents still have many concerns, among them: that medical marijuana would be hard to control, encouraging use by those who aren’t even sick.
Gov. John Lynch has made no secret of his opposition to medical marijuana in the state. He says Senate Bill 409 poses health dangers to patients, lacks oversight and could lead to more pot in the hands of minors.
The House and Senate reached agreement today on a medical marijuana bill.
This final version would allow patients with a doctor’s prescription to possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Medicinal use would only be granted to people with debilitating conditions or terminal diseases.
Senator James Forsythe, a Republican from Strafford, believes the bill is designed to ensure public safety.