Marijuana Backers Out in Force At Statehouse
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Marijuana Backers Out in Force At Statehouse
Posted by CN Staff on June 25, 2009 at 05:27:33 PT
By Dana Smith, Staff Writer
Source: Nashua Telegraph
Concord, NH --  For the last five years, Matt Simon has held rallies, tried to inform people about the medicinal uses of marijuana, and argued with lawmakers over one goal  making marijuana legal for patients with debilitating medical diseases.On Wednesday morning, long before the outcome of the medical marijuana bill was known, he was back in front of the Statehouse with some 50 medical marijuana supporters with "Patients, not Criminals," signs and stickers.
"There is a lot of anticipation," Simon said. "I am truly at a loss for words. At this point, I am optimistic that this fight is over."Simon is the executive director for the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy, and a state leader in the movement to allow ailing patients to use marijuana. He organized the rally hoping that supporters' presence would demonstrate to the entering lawmakers the wide variety of people who support this bill."Anytime people show up in the rain at 8 in the morning, it makes a good impression on the legislature," Simon said.Representative Russell Ober III agreed."If you see someone supporting one side or another on any bill, it really means something," said Ober, R-Hudson. "Anytime you show up and there are people with signs, you think that 'maybe I should think a little more about this.'"Richard Olson was one of the people hoping to influence lawmakers to take a second look at the bill."Too often we have controversial issues that people are afraid to talk about such as marijuana," said Olson, a cancer survivor from Jaffrey. "We need to talk about these things. I was very against it as I have four kids of my own and 15 grandchildren, but then I started listening to and reading the statistics and realized that it definitely has some benefits. A few puffs of cannabis can do a person good."Others came out to just to show support so the sick will no longer face criminal charges."It's just been crazy," said Jean Coutu, from the Citizens Alliance Against Creepy Politics. "You're telling cancer patients that it is illegal to smoke pot and you are going to arrest them. That is something that should be left between the doctor and the patient."Others agreed."I've been very angry about the drug war and the effects it has had on patients with terminal illnesses and this was finally a chance to make a small difference so cancer patients do not get put into jail," said Elizabeth Edwards, of Rochester, N.Y. "It was really easy to support."Edwards says she plans to move to New Hampshire after she graduates college because she "appreciates the political climate of the state."There were also people present looking for relief. Terry Locke, who suffers from severe pain and depression, was hoping that she could now hopefully find a solution."This would definitely make life more tolerable and really help me," said Locke, of Center Barnstead. "I have a doctor who really thinks that marijuana would aid me, but unfortunately she can't write the prescription yet. I am hoping to be one of the first people on the list." Source: Nashua Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)Author: Dana Smith, Staff WriterPublished: June 25, 2009Copyright: 2009 Telegraph Publishing CompanyContact: letters nashuatelegraph.comWebsite: http://www.nashuatelegraph.comURL: Articles:After Lawmakers' OK, Marijuana Bill Goes To Lynch's Changes in MMJ Bill Face Concord Test
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 25, 2009 at 22:17:42 PT
"Showing up in the rain"
This all does my heart so much good.People are waking up... and they're alive, even though many of them are not well, and they're doing something good and helpful and worthwhile.It's so wonderful.I've always been incensed at the prohibitionists that like to holler that we're "Using" patients and medical use cannabis to further legalization. That couldn't be further from the truth. The patients themselves are out there in front because they are desperate, they're angry, they "Know" and there is simply no stopping them. 
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on June 25, 2009 at 17:58:16 PT
The Secret to Success
"Anytime people show up in the rain at 8 in the morning, it makes a good impression on the legislature," Simon said.Representative Russell Ober III agreed.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 25, 2009 at 05:30:24 PT
AP: N.H. Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana
June 25, 2009URL:
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