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Entries in MPP (45)

Friday
Dec182015

MPP - Terminally Ill N.H. Med. Marijuana Patient to Visit Maine Dispensary Fri.

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Terminally Ill Woman Who Successfully Sued to Receive New Hampshire’s First (and Only) Medical Marijuana ID Card Will Finally Access Medical Marijuana at Maine Dispensary on Friday

 

* Media availability TOMORROW at 1 p.m. ET outside Wellness Connection of Maine in Portland *

 

Last month, a judge ordered the New Hampshire Health Department to issue an ID card to Linda Horan so that she can legally purchase medical marijuana in Maine and not face arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

 

PORTLAND — A terminally ill woman who successfully sued the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to obtain the state’s first medical marijuana patient ID card will visit a medical marijuana dispensary in Portland, Maine on Friday.

 

Linda Horan of Alstead, who suffers from Stage 4 lung cancer, will hold a media availability outside of Wellness Connection of Maine at 1 p.m. ET, where she will be accompanied by New Hamsphire State Rep. Renny Cushing and several of her supporters. Members of the media are asked to respect the privacy of other patients who might be visiting the dispensary.

 

“I feel better already, knowing that I will not have to spend my final days in a narcotic stupor,” Horan said. “I look forward to visiting the dispensary, learning about which products would be best for treating my symptoms. I will finally receive the medicine I need, and I won’t need to fear being treated like a criminal for it.”

 

Horan filed a lawsuit against DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas on November 5, asking the agency to immediately issue her a medical marijuana ID card so that she could begin obtaining medical marijuana legally in Maine and using it without fear of arrest in New Hampshire. On November 24, a Merrimack County Superior Court Judge ordered the DHHS to issue her a card.

 

DHHS is responsible for administrating the state’s medical marijuana program, which has experienced several delays since Gov. Maggie Hassan signed it into law in July 2013. The agency began accepting applications from patients interested in participating in the program, but patients remain at risk of arrest and prosecution until they receive program ID cards. DHHS had refused to issue ID cards until dispensaries open, which is not expected until 2016, and it has not issued cards to any patients other than Horan.

 

Horan filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians.

 

“I am frustrated and angry that two and a half years after New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law took effect, Linda was forced to sue the state to get access to her medicine,” Rep. Cushing said. “She is brave and tenacious, and she’s paving the way for other patients in New Hampshire. Nobody should have to fight as hard as she did to get the medical treatment they deserve.”

 

What: Media availability with terminal cancer patient who successfully sued to receive New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana ID card

 

When: Friday, December 18, 1 p.m. ET

 

Where: Wellness Connection of Maine, 685 Congress St., Portland, Maine

 

Who: Linda Horan, Alstead woman with Stage 4 lung cancer

Rep. Renny Cushing, New Hampshire

Wednesday
Nov252015

MPP - N.H. Judge Orders Health Dept. to Issue Medical Marijuana Card to Terminal Patient 

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With an ID card, Linda Horan will be able to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and use it without fear of arrest in New Hampshire; Horan sued DHHS after it refused to issue ID cards until dispensaries open next year

 

* Statements below from Horan’s attorney *

 

CONCORD — On Tuesday, a Merrimack County Superior Court Judge ordered the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to issue a medical marijuana ID card to a woman with terminal cancer in order to expedite her access to medical marijuana.

 

Linda Horan of Alstead filed a lawsuit against DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas earlier this month, asking the agency to immediately issue her a medical marijuana ID card so that she can begin obtaining medical marijuana legally in Maine and using it without fear of arrest in New Hampshire. The lawsuit is available at http://mpp.org/HoranLawsuit.

 

DHHS is responsible for administrating the state’s medical marijuana program, which has experienced several delays since Gov. Maggie Hassan signed it into law in July 2013. The agency began accepting applications from patients interested in participating in the program, but patients remain at risk of arrest and prosecution until they receive program ID cards. DHHS is refusing to issue ID cards until dispensaries open, which is not expected until 2016.

 

Horan, who suffers from stage IV lung cancer, filed an application with DHHS after receiving approval from all five of her physicians.

 

Statement from Horan’s attorney, Paul Twomey:

 

“We are extremely grateful to Judge McNamara for directing the state to follow the law and not deprive critically ill patients of medicine. The Department of Health and Human Services has been extremely helpful and compassionate throughout this process, and we fully expect them to process Linda’s application expeditiously so that she might travel to Maine to obtain her medicine. We hope that the rest of state government will benefit from this case and start to work to heal and not hinder patients.

 

“The current law does not provide anything like adequate access to medical care, especially in the North Country where extremely ill patients must travel for hours and hours to reach the nearest treatment center. There are simple solutions to accessproblems if the government can manage to deal with this as a health problem. We must let our doctors make decisions about health care.

 

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Marijuana Policy Project for its invaluable assistance that made it possible for Linda Horan to receive the medical treatment she needs and deserves. Quite simply, we would not have been able to bring this lawsuit without their help.

 

“Linda is a hero. Facing death, she has chosen to fight for the rights of all the critically ill patients in New Hampshire, who should not have to fear arrest because they are sick. She may be dying, but we all owe her our thanks for showing us how to live.”

 

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

 

Monday
Nov092015

MPP - Dying N.H. Woman Files Med. Marijuana Lawsuit Against DHHS 

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Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Expedited Access to Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

 

Suit filed Thursday by Linda Horan of Alstead asks DHHS to take swift action so that she can immediately begin accessing medical marijuana to mitigate ‘intolerably painful side effects’ of stage IV lung cancer — ‘She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates’

 

* Statements below from Horan and State Rep. Renny Cushing *

 

CONCORD — A terminal cancer patient seeking expedited access to medical marijuana filed a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas. The lawsuit is available at http://mpp.org/HoranLawsuit.

The hearing for an “expedited temporary order” will take place on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Merrimack County Courthouse.

The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for administrating the state’s medical marijuana program, which has experienced several delays since Gov. Maggie Hassan signed it into law in July 2013. On Monday, DHHS began accepting applications from patients interested in participating in the program, but they remain at risk of arrest and prosecution until they receive program ID cards. DHHS is refusing to issue ID cards until dispensaries open, which is not expected until 2016.

 

“The state simply needs to issue me an ID card so that I can access the medicine that I need,” said the plaintiff, Linda Horan of Alstead. “It’s hard to imagine why it would take more than two years for that. There are seriously ill people throughout New Hampshire who are suffering every day they go without it.”

 

Horan suffers from stage IV lung cancer and filed an application with DHHS after receiving approval from all five of her physicians. Her lawsuit asks that DHHS expedite the process of issuing her an ID card so that she can immediately begin obtaining medical marijuana legally in Maine and using it without fear of arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.

 

“Her prognosis is death within months, accompanied by intolerably painful side effects,” according to the lawsuit. “She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates, but rather wishes to mitigate her debilitating symptoms to the extent possible through use of therapeutic cannabis for as long as possible.”

 

“Our hope in filing this lawsuit is that it will cause the state to do what is morally, ethically, medically, and legally proper,” said Paul Twomey, attorney for Ms. Horan. “We hope that the state will do what the law passed by the legislature mandates, and stop denying critically ill and dying people medicine that has been deemed appropriate by their treating physicians.”

 

Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast. A video of her statement is available at https://youtu.be/KNj_SwYtWe8?t=3m20s.

 

“As a lawmaker who voted to treat patients with dignity and respect and allow therapeutic cannabis use, I am dismayed and outraged by the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold the issuance of patient registry cards that allow qualified New Hampshire patients to obtain and use medical marijuana,” said Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton).

 

“I hope the Superior Court will end what I see as cruel treatment of suffering people, uphold the law passed by the legislature 28 months ago and issue an order to the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to issue cards to Linda Horan and every other qualifying patient. 

 

 “The legislature does not want Linda Horan or any other patient to die without access to medicinal marijuana."

 

 

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

Thursday
Nov052015

MPP - N.H. Cancer Patient to File Suit Against State re: Med. Marijuana 

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Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Expedited Access to Medical Marijuana to File Lawsuit Thursday Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

 

Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

 

* News conference THURSDAY at 10 a.m. ET in front of the Merrimack County Courthouse — Ms. Horan will be joined by her attorney, as well as Rep. Renny Cushing and the president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO *

 

CONCORD — A terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana will file a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

 

Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians. She wants to receive a medical marijuana ID card that will allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.

 

Horan will hold a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. in front of the Merrimack County Courthouse just prior to filing the lawsuit. She will be joined by her attorney, Paul Twomey, as well as State Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) and New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett.

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards have not been issued. Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast. A video of her statement is available at https://youtu.be/KNj_SwYtWe8?t=3m20s.

 

“The state simply needs to issue me an ID card so that I can access the medicine that I need,” Horan said. “It’s hard to imagine why it would take more than two years for that. There are seriously ill people throughout New Hampshire who are suffering every day they go without it.”

 

When: Thursday, November 5, 10 a.m. ET

 

Where: Merrimack County Courthouse, 163 N. Main St., Concord

 

Who: Linda Horan, Alstead woman withStage 4 lung cancer

Paul Twomey, Ms. Horan’s attorney

Rep. Renny Cushing

Glenn Brackett, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO

 

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

Saturday
Jun062015

MPP - N.H. Senate Blocks Widely Supported Marijuana Decriminalization Bill 

 

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Despite overwhelming approval in the House — and a poll released last week that found 63% of New Hampshire voters support such legislation — the Senate tabled HB 618 on Thursday evening

                                                

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Senate blocked a widely supported bill Thursday evening that would have removed criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

 

After Senators voted 9-15 to overturn the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that the bill be killed, Sens. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and David Pierce (D-Etna) proposed a compromise floor amendment to HB 618. Four senators argued strongly against the bill and the amendment: David Boutin (R-Hooksett), Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), Gary Daniels (R-Milford), and Jeannie Forrester (R-Meredith). Senators were unable to agree on the language and the bill was tabled.

 

HB 618, which the House approved 297-67 in March, would have made possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Under current state law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

 

“The Senate’s failure to adopt this moderate, commonsense legislation is truly stunning,” said Matt Simon, Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “There is also exceptionally strong public support. Voters are clearly tired of New Hampshire being the only state left in New England that criminalizes people for simple marijuana possession.


“The senators who led the effort to block this bill should explain why they think citizens should be branded as criminals for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol.”

 

Three out of five adults in New Hampshire (63%) support removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released last week. Only 27% said they were opposed.

 

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have removed the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession. The Illinois General Assembly approved a similar measure last month, which is now awaiting action from the governor.

 

 

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