Though National Cannabis Coalition strives to end cannabis prohibition for all adults, we find fighting for the rights of patients with severe and debilitating medical conditions to utilize a safe and nontoxic medicine to be especially valuable and fulfilling. We are pleased to see the use of medical cannabis legalized incrementally and state-by-state, and are encouraged by national polls showing overwhelming public support of medicinal use and massive opposition to the federal government’s interference with states’ medical laws. New Hampshire – should their governor sign the recently-passed medical marijuana bill or should the legislature override the governor’s promised veto - is poised to join 16 other states and our nation’s capitol in allowing patients’ medical use.
Seacoastonline.com has issued an excellent op-ed urging New Hampshire to allow the medical use of cannabis. We have re-posted it below.
May 24, 2012 2:00 AM
The New Hampshire House and Senate have each passed versions of a limited medical marijuana law and are hammering out minor differences in a committee of conference. We expect the two bodies will be able to compromise, pass the bill and send it to Gov. John Lynch for his signature.
We support this extremely limited medical marijuana law and urge the governor to pass it when it reaches his desk. Should the governor veto the law, we urge the House and Senate to override.
Senate Bill 409 would allow doctors and registered nurses to authorize seriously ill patients to grow up to four mature marijuana plants for their own medicinal use. Patients would not be allowed to sell the pot they grow and could never be in possession of more than 6 ounces at a time.
The bill would also prohibit public use of marijuana and driving under its influence. Employers would not be required to allow medical marijuana use in the workplace.
It is unreasonable for a state with liquor stores on its highways to forbid individuals from growing a medicinal plant on their own private property for their own private use.
Numerous studies have confirmed marijuana’s medical value for patients suffering pain, appetite loss and anxiety from illnesses including cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. But you’ve seen those reports before. Here’s something a little more personal from Herald editorial board member Renny Cushing:
“I have seen the benefits of medical marijuana up close. Twenty-five years ago, a close friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was inoperable, a death sentence. Jay left Dartmouth-Hitchcock and returned to his home to die, and he asked me to spend time with him as he lived out the final days of his life. I spent three months living in his cabin, feeding, bathing, trying to comfort, doing hospice work with him as the tumor grew and ate his brain from the inside out. Watching him decline each day, seeing him experience great pain along the way to his death, is something seared in my memory. He would hold his head and talk about ‘the pain, the pain.’ At the suggestion of the hospice nurse, someone got Jay some marijuana to smoke, and it was the only thing that gave him temporary relief. He regulated his own dosage. In a situation where there was nothing under his control, providing him with means to regulate his own pain gave him dignity in dying. I was with him as he took his last breath, and helped prepare his body and carry out a home burial, as was his wish. I put the last of his pot stash in the casket with him so he would have some if he needed it in the future.
“I have never understood those who believe it is somehow noble to have people endure pain when there is relief available. I think if the governor and those in law enforcement who oppose medical marijuana had the experience of turning a dear friend or family member so weakened from disease that he or she was unable to turn themselves so the loved one would not get bed sores, cleaned feces from the body, heard and saw the pain of disease, then some sense of human compassion would prompt them to want to allow the use of effective natural drugs like marijuana.”
Along with Cushing’s emotional argument, consider this from editorial board member Steve Marchand: “I know both of the primary sponsors of this bill — Democratic Rep. Evelyn Merrick, a cancer survivor whose husband is a physician, and Sen. Jim Forsythe, a conservative Republican from the Lakes Region with a science and military background. The two of them probably do not agree on a lot, but they agree on this bill, and they represent the growing number of people of different persuasions who (support medical marijuana).”
Gov. Lynch has shown the ability to evolve on issues such as same-sex marriage, and we urge him to support the medical marijuana bill when it reaches his desk.