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Tuesday
May072013

MPP - Lawmakers Call on Gov. Hassan to Recognize Patient Needs

State Lawmakers Will Join Advocates to Call on Gov. Hassan and the Legislature to Recognize Patients' Immediate Need for Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

Gov. Hassan is insisting legislators remove a provision from HB 573 that would allow patients with serious illnesses to grow their own supply of medical marijuana, leaving patients with no legal source of marijuana for two or more years while alternative treatment centers are being developed

Group will discuss a potential compromise at a news conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET following a Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Human Services meeting regarding the bill

CONCORD – New Hampshire State Reps. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter) and Donald "Ted" Wright (R-Tuftonboro) and other legislators will join medical marijuana advocates – including a retired police sergeant and drug task force member – at a news conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building, where they will call on Gov. Maggie Hassan and members of the state legislature to recognize patients' immediate need for legal access to medical marijuana. Gov. Hassan is insisting legislators remove a provision from HB 573 that would allow patients with serious illnesses to grow their own supply of medical marijuana, which would leave patients with no legal source of marijuana for two or more years while alternative treatment centers are being developed.

The news conference is scheduled to follow a Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting regarding the bill. The Senate meeting will begin at 9 a.m. ET in Room 103 of the Legislative Office Building.

HB 573, sponsored by Rep. Schlachman and co-sponsored by Rep. Wright, whose wife has battled breast cancer for 20 years, was approved in March by more than 80% of the House of Representatives. It would allow patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to grow up to three marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

"The bill has strong support among state legislators, and we are willing to make any reasonable compromise in order to meet the immediate needs of seriously ill New Hampshire citizens," said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. "We are confident that legislators can arrive at a solution that recognizes the immediate needs of patients and addresses the governor's concerns."

WHAT:  News conference to call on Gov. Maggie Hassan and members of the legislature to recognize patients' immediate need for legal access to medical marijuana

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 7, 10 a.m. ET (following 9 a.m. ET committee meeting)

WHERE:  Lobby of the Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State St., Concord

WHO: Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), prime sponsor of HB 573

Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright (R-Tuftonboro), co-sponsor of HB 573 whose wife, Cindy, has been battling breast cancer for more than 20 years

John Tommasi, Salem police sergeant (Ret.), former member of the New Hampshire Drug Task Force

Matt Simon, legislative analyst, Marijuana Policy Project

Devon Chaffee, executive director, New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union

Richard Vincent, Loudon-based multiple sclerosis patient and leader of MS Support Group in Concord

 

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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit http://www.marijuanapolicy.org.

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