New Hampshire on Tuesday became the 19th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
“This legislation is long overdue and comes as a relief to the many seriously ill patients throughout New Hampshire who will benefit from safe access to medical marijuana,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Those suffering from debilitating conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis deserve legal, safe, and reliable access to medical marijuana.”
The Republican-led New Hampshire legislature approved a similar medical marijuana bill last year, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. John Lynch. The governor claimed the proposed law would be abused by those who didn’t really need the drug.
The state’s newly-elected governor, Maggie Hassan, thought differently.
“Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire, and this legislation ensures that we approach this policy in the right way with measures to prevent abuse,” she said after signing the medical marijuana bill into law.
The law includes “strong regulatory oversight and clear dispensing guidelines” to prevent abuse, according to Hassan. Patients with certain serious conditions will be able to obtain marijuana through one of four non-profit, state-licensed treatment centers.
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