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Wednesday
Jul232014

MPP - NH Med. Marijuana Patients to Deliver Message to Hassan 

One Year After New Hampshire Adopted Medical Marijuana Law, Patients Still Risking Arrest and Criminal Prosecution

                                                                      

On Wednesday — the first anniversary of Gov. Hassan’s signing of H.B. 573 — Rep. Donald ‘Ted’ Wright will join patients and advocates at a demonstration in front of the State House

 

* Photo opportunity: The group will deliver a list of grievances and requests to the governor’s office *

                                                

CONCORD — One year after New Hampshire adopted a law intended to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana, patients are still facing criminal penalties for marijuana possession.  

 

On Wednesday — the first anniversary of Gov. Hassan’s signing of H.B. 573 — Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright (R-Tuftonboro) will join patients and advocates at a demonstration in front of the New Hampshire State House to discuss a list of grievances and requests to the governor. Patients will then deliver the list to Gov. Hassan’s office. The list of grievances and requests is pasted below and available online at http://mpp.org/NHgrievances.

 

“Patients have nothing to celebrate on the first anniversary of New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law,” said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Implementation of the program has been beset by needless delays, and people with debilitating conditions still face criminal penalties for possessing any amount of marijuana. This situation is unacceptable.


“We’re fed up with state officials’ stonewalling,” Simon said. “It’s time to start listening to the seriously ill people the medical marijuana law was intended to help.”

 

WHAT: Demonstration and rally to raise awareness about delays facing New Hampshire’s “Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” program

 

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. ET, Wednesday, July 23

 

WHERE: In front of the New Hampshire State House, 107 N. Main St., Concord

 

WHO: Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright

Matt Simon, MPP New England political director

New Hampshire patients and advocates

#########

Patients’ Ten Grievances and Requests — July 23, 2014

 

#10[1] — No legal protection — Patients will have no protection from arrest until ID cards are issued, and the Attorney General’s office has advised the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) not to issue ID cards until the first dispensary opens. Governor Hassan, since you insisted on patients not having any legal protection until ID cards are issued, please urge DHHS to ignore the AG’s deeply flawed legal opinion and move forward with issuance of ID cards, as legislators intended.

 

#9 — No urgency on dispensaries — One year after the signing of HB 573, DHHS still has not managed to produce a first draft of the rules that will govern dispensaries. Governor Hassan, please tell these administrators to get serious and begin implementing this law more swiftly.

 

#8 — Removal of PTSD — Many patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report significant benefits from using cannabis. These patients include military veterans and victims of violent crime, and such patients can now qualify under the laws of 10 states, but not in New Hampshire. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to allowing PTSD as a qualifying condition.

 

#7 — No case-by-case approval — Unlike other state laws, New Hampshire’s law requires both a listed symptom and a listed condition to qualify. The Attorney General’s office has advised DHHS to ignore the law’s “case-by-case approval” language that would allow providers to certify patients with rare conditions or unique circumstances. As a result, rules have been adopted that will exclude patients with compelling needs, including those suffering from epilepsy. Governor Hassan, if you are re-elected, please support efforts to improve this law and allow patients with compelling circumstances to qualify.

 

#6 — Unreasonable requirements for providers — DHHS has adopted rules that exceed its statutory authority by requiring providers to justify their certifications by handing over medical records. Governor Hassan, please begin to recognize that cannabis is less harmful than prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, and that it is insane to discourage providers from recommending a less harmful alternative.

 

#5 — Unreasonable requirements for patients — Under New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law, it is a crime to possess cannabis in “Drug Free Zones.” This means a patient living within such a zone — or even driving through such a zone — would not be legally allowed to possess or use cannabis, even in the privacy of his or her own home or vehicle, and even if the cannabis is not smoked. It also means any patient or caregiver transporting cannabis within two or threeblocks of a school would be inadvertently committing a crime. The law also includes an absurd requirement that patients must have written permission before they can consume cannabis on another person’s property. Governor Hassan, please support removing these unique and burdensome restrictions so patients can obtain cannabis from dispensaries and transport it to their homes without risking an unreasonable arrest.

 

#4 — Opposition to reducing penalties — New Hampshire is the only state in New England where simple possession of marijuana remains a crime punishable by possible jail time. Reducing penalties would reduce patients’ and their family members’ exposure to the criminal justice system if they possess cannabis for therapeutic purposes, including while they wait for ID cards to become available. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to reducing marijuana penalties to a violation.

 

#3 — Police Chief on Advisory Council — The first person appointed to serve as “a member of the public” on the Advisory Council was Tuftonboro Chief of Police Andrew Shagoury. Chief Shagoury was one of the leading opponents of allowing patients access to cannabis, and his opposition to the interests of patients continues. The legislature has since voted to give the police chiefs’ association its own spot on the council, but patients are afraid that yet another opponent will be appointed to represent the public. Governor, please acknowledge the overwhelming public support for this program and appoint a public representative who will not advocate against the interestsof patients.

 

#2 — No patient representative on Advisory Council — The first patient appointed to the Advisory Council has not attended a single meeting. This is unacceptable. Governor Hassan, please appoint a qualifying patient who supports the implementation of this program and one who is willing to attend meetings and represent the interests of patients.

 

#1 — Home cultivation by patients remains a felony — Patients know that if they lived in any neighboring state, they could legally grow their own plants. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to allowing limited home cultivation by patients and caregivers.

 


[1] These are not in any particular order but are numbered for ease of reference.

Friday
Jul182014

Hemingway For Governor - Hemingway to Hassan: "I don't know" is not an answer 

As New England Houses Illegal Immigrants, Gov. Office Doesn’t Know if Any Are Coming to NH

Manchester, NH – In what President Obama has coined an “urgent humanitarian crisis” tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children from South America have crossed the border and are being housed in the United States. While requesting billions of dollars to care for the children whose parents sent them illegally across the Mexican border, President Obama’s Administration has reached out to states asking for assistance housing them.

“Let’s be clear, this is not an ‘urgent humanitarian crisis’ it’s an urgent leadership crisis,” said NH Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Hemingway. “The question is whether President Obama has asked his good friend Maggie Hassan to house the illegal immigrants he opened our border doors for.”

The Concord Patch inquired with Governor Hassan’s office as to whether the state will be accepting illegal as part of the President’s program and printed the following answer:

“We are not aware of any plans for the state to provide housing support for the surge of children crossing the border,” [Hassan Press Secretary William] Hinkle said in an email. (http://concord-nh.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/spokesman-no-knowledge-of-plans-to-house-border-children-in-nh)

“You aren’t aware, Governor Hassan? That’s failed leadership.  Pick up the phone and be aware.  I have a few questions:  Have you been asked to accept illegal immigrants as our neighboring state Massachusetts has?  If so, what was your answer?  If not, have you called to ask anyone and what is the answer?” Hemingway questioned.

As it has been reported in the Boston Herald, several secret flights of illegal immigrants have been flown into Massachusetts recently and they are being housed in detention centers around New England.

Governor’s Hassan’s Office admits that her Administration has met with federal representatives about this and reports say that they have been to Massachusetts to meet on this issue.  “Governor Hassan, you are very aware of what is going on--tell us.  We are your constituents and it is your duty to inform us.  Or, will you instead just follow the lessons of failed leadership provided to us by our President,” Hemingway concluded.

For more information on Andrew Hemingway, visit his website at www.andrewhemginway.com.

Friday
Jul182014

NHGOP EXPANDS AG COMPLAINT AFTER MORE ILLEGAL HASSAN DONATIONS EMERGE

More Illegal Union PAC Contributions Reveal Troubling Pattern

 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today filed a second complaint with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster, asking him to expand his investigation of Governor Maggie Hassan's campaign finances after more illegal contributions came to light. NH Journal and the Concord Monitor reported this morning that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education and the United Food and Commercial (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC each gave Hassan $10,000 donations that exceeded contribution limits.

 

"It is now clear that Governor Hassan has repeatedly and intentionally ignored contribution limits and solicited limitless donations from special interest groups. The governor doesn't think that she needs to follow the same rules that other candidates follow, and she has made a mockery out of New Hampshire's campaign finance laws," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan believes that it is acceptable for her to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from special interest groups that have business before state government. This is a clear violation of the spirit and letter of New Hampshire's finance laws."

 

Below is the letter that the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent to the New Hampshire Department of Justice today:

 

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Dear Attorney General Joseph Foster,

 

On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing to request that you expand your investigation into Governor Maggie Hassan's illegal campaign fundraising scheme. According to media reports, in addition to the illegal $25,000 contribution that the governor accepted from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) PAC, the governor's campaign also accepted two $10,000 contributions from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education PAC (Exhibit A) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC (Exhibit B). These donations far exceed the $5,000 pre-declaration of candidacy limit that has been established in previous Department of Justice opinions.

 

Documents filed with the Secretary of State's office show that the SEIU Committee on Political Education PAC and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC both donated $10,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" on June 12, 2014. This is the same day that the IBEW PAC donated $25,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" and the same day that Governor Hassan officially filed her candidacy for re-election. Like the IBEW PAC, the SEIU Committee on Political Education and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC failed to follow New Hampshire law by disclosing any of their itemized receipts. The source of their funding is a mystery.

 

Further, Governor Hassan's campaign has stated in response to our previous letter that she is not required to adhere to any campaign finance limits in her pre-declaration of candidacy stage. Her interpretation clearly undermines the spirit and letter of New Hampshire law and directly contradicts the opinion provided by the Department of Justice and currently posted on the Secretary of State's website. This opinion, which provides guidance to all candidates running for state office, clearly states that candidate committees are limited to $5,000 donations before they declare their candidacy.

 

As Governor Hassan stated in her June 12, 2014 letter to Secretary Gardner "Friends of Maggie Hassan" was a candidate committee before and after its name was changed to "Maggie 14." (Exhibit C) Before its name change, "Friends of Maggie Hassan" served as a candidate committee making direct expenditures to support Governor Hassan's reelection campaign by paying for political expenses and a staff that included a re-election campaign manager who was named on April 11, 2014.

 

It is clear that Governor Hassan has operated a political fundraising operation for her re-election campaign that has not followed any of the contribution limits that are required by New Hampshire law. She has refused to follow the rules that have been laid out for every other state candidate by opinions released by the Department of Justice. In her view, she is allowed to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from the special interest groups that have business before state government.

 

Given the fact that Governor Hassan's re-election campaign is currently in possession of illegal campaign contributions that could improperly influence the upcoming elections, I ask that you please complete your review in an expedited manner. I also ask that you please investigate why the union affiliated PACs mentioned in this complaint have not disclosed their itemized receipts as required by law.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee

Friday
Jul182014

Hemingway For Governor - Governor Hassan "Cooks the Books" to Justify Turkey Trot

State Claimed a 22% Export Increase; report shows increase was .7%

Manchester, NH – A new article in Business NH Magazine has exposed Governor Maggie Hassan and her administration for misrepresenting state export numbers in an effort to boost her irresponsible junket to Turkey last month and boost her leadership statistic. 

“It was an attention-grabbing headline: “NH Export Growth Led Nation in 2013.” That claim was later used by … Gov. Maggie Hassan as proof of the success of the state’s export efforts and to help defend NH’s recent trade mission to Turkey when it came under fire from Hassan’s Republican opponents.”  The Truth Behind NH’s Export Growth, by Erika Cohen, Business NH Magazine.

Governor Hassan and others in her Administration claimed a 22% increase in exports in 2013 over the previous year.  Unfortunately, as the article continues, the report is based on a ridiculous claim.  The number includes the “export” of crude oil. Unfortunately NH neither produces nor refines crude oil so where did the number come from? According to the article:

“That crude oil merely travels on a train through NH from other locations to Canada,”

“Governor Hassan so wanted to travel to Turkey, during a state travel ban she imposed, for reasons we still don’t understand, that her Administration used illusionary math to sell it,” said Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Hemingway.  “This is beyond failed leadership, this is deliberately throwing out false statistics to support her waste of taxpayer funds.  She should be held accountable and she needs to explain why she felt it was OK to cook the statistic books to the very people she is beholden to.”

Friday
Jul182014

NHGOP RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR HASSAN'S REQUEST TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement in response to Governor Hassan's request that Attorney General Joseph Foster expedite his review of the NHGOP's complaints regarding Hassan's illegal campaign contributions:

 

"The opinion provided by the New Hampshire Department of Justice on February 10, 2012 makes it very clear that Governor Hassan's limitless special interest fundraising scheme is illegal.  It is troubling that the governor thinks that the campaign contribution limits that are followed by every other state candidate do not apply to her.  Governor Hassan clearly believes that she should be able to accept unlimited donations from unions, special interest groups and organizations with business before the state while she serves in the corner office.  That is not the New Hampshire way, and it is a clear violation of our laws."