CONCORD, NH – The Senate voted today, 14-10, in favor of legislation to help cancer patients and others treat debilitating symptoms with small amounts of marijuana with their doctor’s approval.
“This is a bill of compassion,” said Senator Peggy Gilmour, D-Nashua. “With this bill, those who derive benefit from marijuana for serious health issues can be called ‘patients’ rather than ‘criminals.’”
Gilmour said marijuana has been found to alleviate the nausea triggered by certain chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer as well as to ease the side effects of treatment for Hepatitis C. It also reportedly can ease symptoms of AIDS, muscular dystrophy and muscle spasms associated with spinal cord injuries.
“Thirteen states have legalized marijuana for medical use. None has found increased abuse, increased crime or any of the myriad social ills or law enforcement nightmares so often feared. What they have found is one more way to help those with debilitating disease, those at life’s end, find some increased measure of comfort,” Gilmour said.
House Bill 648 would allow patients, with the approval of their doctor, to receive a state registry identification card that enables them or a designated caregiver to tend up to six plants and keep up to two ounces of marijuana for a limited period of time. The marijuana could then be used to ease the symptoms of a debilitating disease or treatment. Sale of any marijuana would be forbidden but registered patients could legally provide plants or seeds to another registered patient.
The Senate version of the bill adds restrictions forbidding the use of medical marijuana in any public place, workplace, school or jail. It prevents anyone convicted of a drug-related crime of being named a designated caregiver. It protects the privacy of patients by limiting access to the state registry. It also sets up a study committee to look at a simpler, more protected system for providing medical marijuana to those who need it.
– Article from The Citizen of Lanconia.