All New Hampshire Cities

Series Looks at Practical Side of Medical Marijuana

There’s a series of articles that appeared in the Telegraph describing the current situation in New Hampshire with medical marijuana. Even though we are the 19th state to legalize it for medical use, actually getting pot into the hands of patients represents a huge hurdle, both legally and administratively.

The series looks at what we can expect, and how soon it might happen.

The first article shows some very sad pictures of an elderly woman who fears she may be arrested for obtaining marijuana illegally. However, as it stands now, that’s the only way for patients to get the drug – it may be more than a year until dispensaries actually open up to sell it legally.

The woman is frail and in a wheelchair. She suffers from pancreatitis and uses marijuana to ease her symptoms. There is currently no way to know how common this type of patient may be – after all, they are technically criminals under New Hampshire law, and avoid exposure to avoid arrest.

Our version of a medical marijuana law does not allow patients to grow their own supply and the Telegraph points out how this alters the landscape for patients in our state. Instead of establishing their own supply (either by growing the plant or having a caregiver grow for them), patients will only be allowed to purchase “registered” marijuana from a dispensary. The provision in the act that would have authorized private grows was struck down.

There is an advantage of restricting production to licensed operations, even though this will delay implementation of the program. The federal government has, so far, not been interested in criminally prosecuting operations that are strictly controlled under state law. In states that have strong rules, the DEA has kept a hands-off policy in place. Other states, like California, that have allowed looser enforcement at the state level have seen the DEA step in and arrest their citizens.

The series of articles is worth reading – it presents a thorough and fair picture of medical marijuana in New Hampshire.


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