N.H. Senate Panel Removes Home-Grow Option

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  N.H. Senate Panel Removes Home-Grow Option

Posted by CN Staff on May 08, 2013 at 05:51:33 PT
By Ben Leubsdorf, Monitor Staff 
Source: Concord Monitor 

New Hampshire -- A Senate committee yesterday endorsed medical marijuana legislation that passed the House earlier this year, but removed a provision opposed by Gov. Maggie Hassan that would have allowed patients to grow their own cannabis.Sen. Nancy Stiles, a Hampton Republican and chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee, said she met Monday with Hassan’s legal counsel, Lucy Hodder, and eliminated elements of the bill Hassan won’t support.
“I think the important thing in this process is to get legislation moved forward so that we can begin to help our citizens that are critically ill, and start out with a small process that can be expanded later on if we find that it’s not meeting all of the needs,” Stiles said.After an hour of discussion, the committee voted, 5-0, to recommend the full Senate pass the amended bill, which would allow seriously ill or terminal patients with cancer and other specified conditions to acquire marijuana from special dispensaries to treat symptoms including pain and weight loss.The bill next heads to the Senate floor for a vote.Medical marijuana advocates are unhappy with the removal of the home-grow option. Matt Simon, a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, said dispensaries could take at least two years to get up and running, and New Hampshire patients in the meantime would be left without a legal option to acquire marijuana.Simon said supporters are open to some sort of compromise, such as attaching a “sunset” clause to a home-grow option that would repeal it after three years.“That is the sticking point, politically, in this bill,” Simon said. “Let’s let patients grow their own for two or three years while dispensaries can get up and running.”But Rep. Donna Schlachman, an Exeter Democrat and the legislation’s prime sponsor, said supporters don’t want to scuttle the bill even if they don’t like everything in the final version.“We know we’re going to pass something,” she told reporters following the committee’s vote yesterday. “Right now, our biggest concern is whether we’re passing something that meets the needs of patients immediately who . . . have been waiting a long time for legal access to something that is critically important to their health and well-being, given the medical challenges that they face.”Hassan’s spokesman, Marc Goldberg, said the Senate committee’s changes “represent significant improvements and help address the governor’s concerns” about the bill as it was approved March 20 by the House on a 286-64 vote.He didn’t rule out additional changes.“Gov. Hassan looks forward to continuing the dialogue with legislators and all stakeholders as the legislation moves forward, and she is always willing to listen to constructive ideas, while keeping in mind the goal of appropriately regulated use of medical marijuana with controlled dispensing,” Goldberg said.Bill TightenedThe Senate committee yesterday made a number of changes to the bill, in addition to eliminating the home-grow option. Among other things, the panel: *  Eliminated post-traumatic stress disorder from the list of conditions making a patient eligible for marijuana use.*  Added a requirement that patients get written permission from a property owner before using marijuana on privately owned land.*  Reduced the maximum number of marijuana dispensaries, called “alternative treatment centers,” from five to four.*  Required the alternative treatment centers to obtain liability insurance.*  Limited the bill’s provision for an “affirmative defense” in court against marijuana-related charges to patients with a valid state-issued registry card or their card-issued designated caregivers.“This is very tight and very regulated,” said Sen. Molly Kelly, a Keene Democrat.Assuming the bill passes the Senate in its current form, Schlachman said negotiators from the House and Senate will hammer out a final version in a committee of conference.“We will definitely provide something that the governor can support,” she said.Medical marijuana bills have passed the Legislature twice in the last four years, but both times were vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat.By contrast, Hassan, also a Democrat, supports enacting a medical marijuana law in New Hampshire.“I want to emphasize how grateful I am to have a governor who has gone on record in support of the use of therapeutic cannabis. I think that’s critically important,” Schlachman said.Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana since 1996, including the other five New England states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Source: Concord Monitor (NH)Author: Ben Leubsdorf, Monitor StaffPublished: May 7, 2013Copyright: 2013 Monitor Publishing CompanyContact: letters cmonitor.comURL: http://www.concordmonitor.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on May 09, 2013 at 18:22:11 PT

RE #6
AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynnne.  
Why Cops Bust Down Doors of Medical Pot Growers, But Ignore Men Who Keep Naked Girls on Leashes.
Thanks to the drug war, police have much more incentive to go after drug crimes than more heinous crimes.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by ekim on May 09, 2013 at 12:19:54 PT

to big to jail
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by runruff on May 09, 2013 at 06:30:41 PT

"Live free or die"!
What an aboslute joke.They should change their slogan to match the times; "Kimchi Or dine?" [out]
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Comment #8 posted by cootdog_1 on May 09, 2013 at 05:24:37 PT:

Grow it Green
It is sad to think law makers are blind to the potential $$ from the sale of Cannabis or license sales. The cost of the current law (medical use only) is huge but a step forward just the same. I figure most will continue to grow it green!
While the government do-gooders continue to use 'children smoking pot' as their main focus? I think texting while
driving, under age drinking and youth football are more dangerous!Take the cartel income an make it New Hampshire's income by making Cannabis legal for over 21. Forget gambling ... but keep the lottery :-) and Grow it Green ;-)
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by The GCW on May 08, 2013 at 17:49:53 PT

The Live Free or Die state's priorities.
What part of "LIVE FREE OR DIE" applies to prohibiting sick citizens from growing their own God-given plant cannabis?Still, it is a step forward.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by afterburner on May 08, 2013 at 16:35:51 PT

Vindictive Political Enforcement
Florida: Lou Gehrig's Disease Patient Sues for Cannabis Protection. 
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
Excerpt: { "The police raid of the Jordan's home came just days after lawmakers introduced legislation, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, which sought to authorize the physician-supervised use of cannabis for those diagnosed with serious debilitating conditions." "After the Manatee County State Attorney's office reviewed the facts of the case, they issued a memorandum on April 2, 2013 declining to prosecute either Cathy or her husband. The Manatee County State's Attorney's office found that they could not likely overcome a medical marijuana necessity defense, which would be raised by the defendant should a prosecution be initiated. However, the sheriff's department has refused to return any of the cannabis that they confiscated from Ms. Jordan during the February 15 raid." }
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Comment #5 posted by Swazi-X on May 08, 2013 at 13:45:29 PT

Y'all Sure Passed Something....
Removing home cultivation is the tell here - this bill is just another shiny object our masters dangle in front of us to placate and deceive while simultaneously reinforcing legal avenues for arrest, intimidation, and control. Removing PTSD is another shining example of the bizarre disconnect between lawmakers and reality - the very FIRST use of cannabis should be to help those who've offered their lives to protect our country in any of the senseless, profit-driven wars we've chosen to start. Why would lawmakers show such callous disregard for those who've lost limbs, suffered unimaginable stress and sacrificed the best years of their lives in service to our country? THESE ARE THE CITIZENS WHO NEED THIS MEDICINE MOST.To all residents of this state: Write down the names of those responsible for this embarrassing, duplicitous, dishonest law and VOTE THEM BACK TO THE STONE AGE.And next time these clueless wads of scum want to pass something - please, for everyone's sake...

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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 08, 2013 at 09:50:32 PT

Pharma's loyal servants
Well done guys! First it was the evil-boogeyman Republican governor that insisted on removing home growing - then vetoed it anyway.Now the governor is friendly, so Pharma had to pay MORE money to bribe a bunch of state senators.Just as in CT and Mass., Pharma jumped in at the last minute with $$ to get their way.

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Comment #2 posted by Canis420 on May 08, 2013 at 09:40:22 PT:

Grow your own
They should grow there own anyway

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by runruff on May 08, 2013 at 06:56:01 PT

Good lookin' out Hassan, 
for your self that is!She will be compensated for her ignorance and or compensated compliance with the prohibs.By the time people of her state in-mass, figure out what this discussion really means, the good governor will be in retirement with a great salary,and benefits, on an extended luxury Cruz...sorry can't be reached for comment at this time!
[ Post Comment ]

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