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Medical Marijuana: New Hampshire Bill Narrowly Defeated

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #479)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A bill that would have allowed ill New Hampshire residents to use medical marijuana was narrowly defeated Wednesday. The bill, HB 774, was killed on a 186-177 vote in the House.

Supporters of the bill argued that marijuana can be the only drug that works for patients with some conditions. Rep. Evelyn Merrick (D-Lancaster), who has suffered from cancer, said the treatments can be worse than the disease. "How many others must we allow to suffer needlessly?" she asked her colleagues.

But Rep. Joseph Miller (D-Durham), a retired doctor, and Rep. William Butynski (D-Hinsdale) scoffed at marijuana as medicine. "There is no such thing as medical marijuana," said Butynsk, who also worried aloud about allowing people to grow it.

Real medicine is injected, taken in pill form, or sprayed under the tongue -- not smoked -- said Miller. Besides, he added, it isn't needed. "We have ample therapeutic equivalents legally available," he said.

But while the arguments of opponents prevailed this year, chances are good that proponents of cannabis as medical will be back next year. Given the close vote this year and polling showing two-thirds support for medical marijuana in the state, the prospects are promising, said Stuart Cooper of the New Hampshire Marijuana Policy Initiative.

"This is sensible, compassionate legislation that protects our most vulnerable citizens," Cooper said in a statement after the vote. "But the close vote proves that it's only a matter of time before our elected officials give their constituents what they've asked for: an effective medical marijuana law that ensures nobody gets arrested just for battling life-threatening conditions."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

One of the greatest problems facing marijuana reform is people who view legalization as an easier way to get their high. Countless teenagers and "potheads" make comments like the ones above only furthering reasons to keep it a controlled substance. I am a believer in the legalization of marijuana especially medical marijuana; many will tell you that it is not a legitimate medicine. "Real medicine is injected, taken in pill form, or sprayed under the tongue -- not smoked" (Miller). People do not trust of the pharmaceutical industry with its high prices, over medication, and medicines that are much more addicting than marijuana and have more serious side affects. Medical Marijuana puts the power of healing back into the hands of people.

I am a college student and i am a supporter of marijuana reform, however i take action in a more reasonable method. If you are a supporter who wants to see change, than sign a petition send a letter to your congressmen or representative, because the biggest problem in marijuana reform are marijuana users.

Thu, 10/18/2007 - 3:03pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

you are absolutely right people like the one you mentioned are exactly why it has not been legalized. we are trying to allow this drug to be used sensibly not for the likes of people who look at as a way to get "high". I would not want just anyone to use it and their are other ways to use it than smoking, It can be put into a vaporizer, pill form, and in food. Not to mention it is a lot safer and less addictive than say methodone, oxycontin or morphine. If done properly, it could be a very beneficial drug for many who are sick

Thu, 04/09/2009 - 7:27pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

new hampshire grow up and learn to follow the movement

Tue, 04/07/2009 - 2:42am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I have severe Ra, Fybro, Oa, etc. I've taken a lot of legal drugs that have given me sores, bruises, infections, and in 1 case, almost killed me. Marijuana is the only drug that does not have harmful, painful side effects. Those who oppose legalization, have no clue. I've smoked for 30 yrs and have never gone on to other illegal drugs. God put it on the earth for a reason.Pharmicutial companies would rather you take expensive manufactured drugs that have side effects that range from Skin ulcers to heart problems, and more. The almighty dollar is the driving factor .

Fri, 04/24/2009 - 3:11pm Permalink
jimmy (not verified)

I know it's a tired argument but I still cannot fathom how people disapprove of legalizing marijuana because folks will use it to "get high" while, at the same time, they are okay with alcoholic beverages used... well, used by people to "get high."

Stinks of hypocrisy and always has.

Thu, 06/25/2009 - 11:15pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Stupid hemp had to cause the paper industry to make it illegal in the first place. If the four fathers of our country could grow and smoke marijuana why can't we? Not just for medical use, but recreational as well. Drinking causes so many deaths in this country every year on college campuses and from drunk drivers all over the country. I've never heard of someone on marijuana, if it happens I'd sure like to hear about that one. I'm sick of politicians lobbying for it to stay illegal because it is a "gateway" drug. That is b.s. in my opinion. Plus if it were legalized the amount of crime from transporting it would shoot down.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 11:12am Permalink
Heather C (not verified)

I have been living with MS for 12 years now. 4 years ago I developed the most intense stabbing pain in my left arm, that has now grown to include my left chest and right hand. Thankfully it is not a constant pain, or I would seriously consider ending my life. My doctor gave my "real medicine" that is actually an epilepsy medication, and it was horrible! I had a lessening of the pain, but I also could barely function, I became so forgetful, that I would sit in my car in the driveway trying to remember where I was going, and I had no energy at all, basically just "vegging out" on the couch all day. I tried another medication after complaining about the bad side effects from the first one, and the second one did nothing for the pain, but similar side effects to the first. My husband suggested trying some marijuana, and although it didn't completely eradicate the pain, it became much more manageable, without the extremely disabling side effects of the legal meds. I only rarely use marijuana when I have intense episodes of pain, but for people who deal with this every day, they should have access without fear of prosecution.

Tue, 12/08/2009 - 2:38pm Permalink
Reed Davis (not verified)

I strongly agree that there are a lot of people who want the legalization of cannabis sativa (marijuana) to happen merely because they want to get high more often with out trouble from authorities. Lets think about this shall we, what have i just said? That someone wants to have the right to consume marijuana on there own time with out being fined or even sent to prison.First, getting "high" is a mixed feeling of being, happy, hungry and sometimes sleepy. None of these affects are harmful. Second, I believe this should be legal for RESPONSIBLE users. When i say responsible users i mean people over the age of 18 who understand the natural substance in which they are using and understand that they are using a very minor hallucinogen ( THC ). I myself have used marijuana, both smoking and edible ways and enjoy it for both a relaxing evening or for self medicating my Bi-Polar and ADD. Many of you may think these are minor phycological conditions but i assure you i have struggled with both and have found the use of marijuana to help chemically balance myself. Using marijuana in small doses can be a very viable medicine. If you have watched the documentary, The Union, then you have seen that it can completely calm a patient with Multiple Sclerosis. I am shamed that i am put into the title of POT HEAD because of a young generation who abuses the substance and a public who have been lied to and scared into believing that this 100% natural substance is dangerous? Dangerous? are you serious? I would challenge anyone one who believes this to search world wide for any account that states that cannabis sativa has caused (by itself alone) a single death. I know that you hear time and time again that alcohol and tobacco kills millions world wide every year, but honestly, it scares me to death that something so lethal can be legal while a, and i state again, 100% naturally plant that grows in the wild can be illegal and stands for over 40 PERCENT OF THE ARRESTS for drugs in the united states alone. wow! I believe its time for everyone who believes marijuana should remain illegal to re-think why this is and to research for themselves the facts and the ever growing myths of marijuana. Its time for change America and i believe this starts with one small step at a time. So please, i ask those of you who read this to spread the word and look for yourself about the facts and not rely on others and the media to spread the so called truth. My name is Reed Davis and i am FOR the decriminalization of marijuana for responsible adults in the United States Of America. Do your part and VOTE.

Sun, 12/13/2009 - 11:30pm Permalink
dinidear (not verified)

marijuana not only helps will the pain, but helps the nausea and may also show evidence of anti tumor effects. Opiates can cause tumors to grow not just help with pain.

Fri, 01/15/2010 - 6:45pm Permalink
Jim Baclagon (not verified)

I just don't GET this qoute - Real medicine is injected, taken in pill form, or sprayed under the tongue -- not smoked -- said Miller.

Some people are idiots, Have they even HEARD of VAPORIZATION!? And come on Real "Medicine"? that's just commercial crap really. Injected, Pills, there are many people who DIE from prescription drug abuse rather than Marijuana. It's too bad people are still feeling Reefer madness and the stupid pot head kids who are ruining it for responsible adults and those who really need it.

Sat, 08/28/2010 - 12:36am Permalink

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