Pubdate: Sun, 20 Mar 2011
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Copyright: 2011 Geo. J. Foster Co.
Cited: New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy
Referenced: HB 442
Bookmark: (New Hampshire)


The New Hampshire House of Representatives is taking another look at 
permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee 
recently endorsed HB 442 by a 14-3 vote.

In 2009 Gov. John Lynch vetoed a medical marijuana bill because he 
felt the distribution and monitoring provisions were not strong enough.

Foster's believes that was the right decision then and should be the 
measure of the current bill.

Efforts to properly provide medical marijuana have been made a joke 
by legalization in California. State lawmakers there may as well have 
just outright legalized pot, given the lack of controls placed on 
growing and dispensing it.

That cannot be allowed in New Hampshire.

While there is still controversy concerning the medicinal use of 
marijuana, there are enough encouraging signs that New Hampshire 
should join the growing number of states.

Washington, D.C., and 15 other states have enacted laws protecting 
patients whose doctors prescribe medical marijuana. These include 
Maine, which is in the process of setting up clinics and dispensaries.

While Foster's Daily Democrat stands against the legalization of pot 
across the board, this newspaper does agree with proponents of 
medical use like Kirk McNeil, executive director for the New 
Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy.

"Today's vote once again shows that when legislators learn the facts 
about medical marijuana, they are motivated to allow its use by 
seriously ill patients."

As for HB 442, Foster's believes that although the bill has passed 
committee muster, much discussion still needs to take place.

Unlike the debate in 2009, commentary this time around has been muted 
and perhaps not all the questions asked.

But if, as the discussion on the floor of the House and then in the 
Senate shows the concerns about safe and secure distribution have 
been met, HB 442 should become law in New Hampshire.  
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake