As New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan attempts to strip the provisions allowing patients to grow a limited amount of marijuana from the legislation being considered in the state Senate this week, patients are speaking up.
Clayton Holton, a 28-year-old with muscular dystrophy and an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana, wrote in Seacoast Online:
I have spent the better part of a decade asking New Hampshire legislators to allow patients like me to use medical marijuana, and it finally appears that a medical marijuana bill is going to pass this year. Unfortunately, it appears this law may not be of any benefit to patients like me who are fighting for our lives.
HB 573, which passed overwhelmingly in the House, allows patients to access medical marijuana from one of five state-regulated alternative treatment centers or grow up to three cannabis plants. The centers will not begin serving patients for at least two years, and many patients, including myself, cannot wait that long for relief. Thus, it is critical that we be allowed to grow for ourselves or designate a caregiver to do so for us, as the bill allows.
Sadly, Gov. Maggie Hassan is now insisting that home cultivation be removed from the bill before she will be willing to sign it. This means patients will continue to suffer without legal access to marijuana. Frankly, I do not expect to live another two years, so for me, this may as well be a death sentence.
While Gov. Hassan should be commended for supporting the rights of patients to use the medicine that works best for them, she needs to realize that we should not be forcing patients to either wait years or put themselves in danger getting their medicine from the criminal market.
If you live in New Hampshire, please contact Gov. Hassan and ask her to remove her opposition to patient cultivation.