On June 26, the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in the State Senate on a voice vote; it also passed in the House on a 284-66 vote. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Maggie Hassan (D).
The new legislation will allow chronically and terminally ill patients -- those with ailments such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, or hepatitis C, and conditions such as significant weight loss, severe pain or wasting syndrome -- to use marijuana, but only if other drugs prove ineffective. Additionally, eligible patients must be a patient of their doctor for at least three months. Unfortunately, medical marijuana will not be able to grow their own medicine, something that the Governor has always opposed. She also persuaded the Senate to eliminate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a qualifying condition to use medical marijuana.
Instead of being allowed to grow up to three plants in their private residences, patients must settle for obtaining up to two ounces of medicine at a time from one of the four dispensaries to be designated as a given patient's "treatment center." For each patient, dispensaries will be authorized to store up to six ounces of dried medicine and be able to grow up to three mature plants and a dozen seedlings. In order to placate frustrated patients who sought the right to grow, the new law would establish an oversight commission that will begin immediate implementation of the dispensary program, though the first pair of those are still not scheduled to open until 2015.