Patients have expressed dissatisfaction with New Hampshire's therapeutic cannabis program from the outset, so it should come as no great surprise that the program has flunked a legislative performance audit. On Sunday, the Union Leader reported that the medical cannabis program received a "failing grade," in part because "nearly 100% of patients fail to receive cards... within a mandated time frame."
The opponents of allowing home cultivation have frequently argued that the state's medical cannabis program is fine the way it is, but the performance audit tells a very different story. Please contact state legislators today and tell them patients in the "Live Free or Die" state deserve better — improvements are urgently needed, and they should start by overriding the governor's veto on HB 364!
The bill, which would allow registered patients and caregivers to possess up to three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings per patient, passed the Senate 14-10 on May 2. However, since HB 364 was vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu, two additional Senate votes will be needed in order to pass the bill into law.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote in favor of overriding the veto on Wednesday, September 18. Assuming that happens, the bill will proceed to the Senate for a final vote. We're committed to fighting for every vote we can get in the legislature and passing this bill into law.
Please share this link with friends and supporters: MPP.org/nhveto
The N.H. House is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, September 18 to vote on veto overrides, including HB 364, the bill that would allow limited home cultivation for patients. If the House votes to override the governor's veto and pass HB 364, the bill will proceed to the Senate for a final vote.
We're committed to fighting for every vote we can get in the legislature and passing this bill into law. To that end, I'm pleased to report that we found the designs from our 2009 N.H. Compassion campaign and updated them for current use.
Although the 2009 campaign tragically fell two votes short of success when Gov. Lynch's veto was sustained in the Senate after being overridden by the House, the patients who fought for that bill seemed to be fans of this design. Many of those patients are no longer with us, and I feel that "bringing back the heart" and using it for online ads and other materials would be a good way to honor their memories.
Please help us "bring back the heart" by making a donation to MPP's veto override effort today! We need to pick up two more Senate votes, but there are several votes in play.
If you haven't already done so, please contact your representatives and senator and urge them to support passing HB 364 into law!
Finally, in case you thought the legalization debate was dead until 2020, I'm pleased to report that former Rep. Ted Wright and I will be discussing the pros and cons of legalization with two opponents, including Sen. Bob Giuda, on a panel this Wednesday, August 21 at the Moultonborough Public Library, beginning at 7 p.m.
Please share this important news with your family and friends!
On Friday afternoon, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed HB 364, the bill that would allow registered patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis at home. This is a very disappointing development, but it's possible that the House and Senate can be persuaded to pass the bill into law despite the governor's veto.
In order to override the veto, two-thirds majorities will be necessary in both the House and Senate. The House has voted by more than two-thirds to support home cultivation bills on several occasions in the past, and the Senate voted 14-10 in support of HB 364 on May 2. This means two additional votes will be needed in order to reach two-thirds in the Senate.
If you have a personal story to share with legislators about how allowing home cultivation would make a positive difference in your life or the life of a patient you know, please include that in your emails to legislators. If you're comfortable having your story shared with legislators or the public, please send details to me at email@example.com.
After you email your representatives and senator, please share this important update with your friends and family!
Yesterday, after a series of delays, the medical cannabis home cultivation bill was finally delivered to Gov. Chris Sununu's desk. That means the governor will have until Saturday to sign or veto HB 364, which would allow registered patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis at home. If he takes no action, the bill will become law without his signature.
After you call Gov. Sununu, please share this important update with your friends and family!
Submit a letter of support if you could benefit from allowing oral uptake delivery or from adding chronic pain or TBI to the program.
Minnesota's medical cannabis law started as one of the most restrictive in the nation. Thanks to the hard work of our allies at Sensible Minnesota and the voices of patients and providers, it has steadily been expanded via the Department of Health petition process. Intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and other conditions have been added administratively to include tens of thousands more patients.
Sensible Minnesota is now focused on expanding conditions to include chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to allow oral uptake delivery. If you are a patient, caregiver, family member, healthcare provider, or someone else who could benefit from the addition of these conditions or delivery method, please consider providing a letter of support by the end of the day on Friday, July 26.
The National Academy of Sciences found there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis relieves chronic pain. Adding "chronic pain" would allow thousands more patients to qualify who do not fall under the restrictive definition of intractable pain.
Oral uptake delivery — which can be done with gums, lozenges, or mints — permits patients to absorb cannabinoids through the mucosal lining of the mouth. This means the patient doesn't need to swallow the product, which can take far longer to get into the bloodstream to provide relief.
If you are a pain or TBI patient who has already received benefit from medical cannabis, please consider providing a letter to share your story.
You can submit your letter of support using Sensible Minnesota's online form or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to email@example.com.
Today, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act into law. The bill is named after a pediatric cancer patient who passed away last year. Towards the end of Jake's fight, he relied on medical marijuana to ease the symptoms of the terrible disease. His family has since become advocates for medical marijuana reforms and helped spearhead this new law.
The new law will expand patient access to medical marijuana, by allowing more qualifying conditions and increasing the amount a patient can purchase in a month. It also creates a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission to govern the medical marijuana program. A summary of the changes can be found here.
While the legislature didn't manage to pass legalization this session, it's only matter of time. Support for changing marijuana laws is growing every day. Just last week, New Jersey state senators held a press conference calling for decriminalization and expungement reform. Together, we can bring about marijuana policy reform in New Jersey.
Although he's staunchly opposed to legalization, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) wants the legislature to consider medical marijuana. For a bill to make it to Gov. Tony Evers' (D) desk, challenges would have to be overcome — such as Sen. Majority Leader Fitzgerald's opposition and securing the rank-and-file votes.
That's where you come in.
To have even more impact, give your state lawmakers a call. Or, better yet, if you or a loved one could benefit from medical cannabis, consider requesting an in-district meeting.
MPP's federal policies director — Don Murphy — was once a law-and-order Republican state lawmaker in Maryland. One day in 1999, a veteran with cancer sat down in Don's office and asked for his help. Don had never given medical marijuana much thought, much less considered sponsoring a bill. But Darrell Putman's plea changed everything, prompting Don to introduce the state's first medical marijuana bill, which laid the groundwork for Maryland's medical cannabis program.
Lawmakers are people, and we've seen honest, heartfelt pleas change minds in state after state. If this issue is personal to you, consider sharing your story with your legislators in person. Let us know if you need some guidance.
And please be sure to spread the word. Together, we can pass a compassionate medical cannabis law in Wisconsin.
This Friday, the Rhode Island House will debate H 5151 Sub A, the budget bill for the coming fiscal year. As written, Article 15 of this legislation would make two significant changes to undermine the state's medical marijuana program.
First, the House budget would require all patients who wish to grow for themselves to register as their own caregiver. Then, it empowers the Department of Business Regulation to establish criteria for caregivers, which may include "eligibility" and "a demonstration of need." Depending on how the department uses this authority, it could effectively eliminate home cultivation for all but a few patients.
Second, while the current budget proposal would increase the number of compassion centers from three to nine, it also raises the annual licensing fee for these facilities to $500,000 a year, which is 10-100 times more than what most other states require for medical marijuana business licenses. This fee will ensure that only people with deep pockets can enter the market, and the increased costs will be passed down to patients in the form of increased prices.
Limiting patients' ability to grow their own medicine while simultaneously increasing costs for patients at the compassion centers is a cruel and unnecessary way to balance the budget. Enough is enough.
Thank you for taking action!
Action has been delayed on legalization, but we're still doing everything we can to pass the medical cannabis home cultivation bill — please call Gov. Chris Sununu today and urge him to sign HB 364 into law!
The New Hampshire Senate has delayed action on the legalization bill, but several cannabis-related bills have been approved by both chambers of the legislature, and they will soon land on the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu.
Most of these bills passed with strong support in both chambers, but the fate of one critical bill remains uncertain. HB 364, which would allow registered patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis at home, passed the House today in a final voice vote. Unfortunately, the margin of support in the Senate was only 14-10, so we would have to gain two votes in the Senate in order to override a potential veto.
Here are the other cannabis-related bills that appear to be on track to become law:
- HB 399 would allow people who received misdemeanor possession convictions prior to decriminalization to apply to have their records annulled. It passed both chambers in a voice vote. We are very grateful to our allies at ACLU-NH and Americans for Prosperity for their work to help get this bill passed.
- HB 350 would allow physician's assistants to certify patients. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
- SB 88 would eliminate the three-month waiting period for provider-patient relationships. It has already passed the House (263-90) and the Senate (17-7) and awaits a final vote in the Senate.
- SB 145 would allow alternative treatment centers to reorganize as for-profit businesses. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
After you call Gov. Sununu and urge him to sign HB 364, please share this important update with your friends and family!
On Wednesday, the Louisiana Legislature passed HB 358, a bill that would allow patients to inhale (but not smoke) medical marijuana. Louisiana is the only one of the 33 medical marijuana states that does not allow this important method of administration. The bill is now on the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards awaiting his signature.
After you've asked the governor to sign the bill, please spread the word to others in Louisiana.