Vt., Maine Offer Medical Marijuana Lessons for NH
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Vt., Maine Offer Medical Marijuana Lessons for NH');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Vt., Maine Offer Medical Marijuana Lessons for NH
Posted by CN Staff on March 02, 2013 at 09:23:11 PT
By Morgan True, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Concord, N.H. -- As New Hampshire again considers whether to legalize medical marijuana, neighboring states offer lessons about enforcement of the law, dispensaries and the complexities of implementing such a law. The New Hampshire legislature has passed three medical marijuana bills in previous years, all vetoed by former Gov. John Lynch. This time, Gov. Maggie Hassan's endorsement could tip the scales. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia already allow people who are sick or in chronic pain to legally buy and use medical marijuana, but laws vary widely.
A key concern of law enforcement officials is whether legalization would open the door for recreational users and people looking to profit from illicit distribution. Regardless of illness, marijuana could be used to treat conditions like severe pain or nausea, which could create an opening for recreational users to take advantage of the law. But in neighboring Vermont and Maine, where medical marijuana has been available for years, police say that has not been their experience. In Vermont, policing medical marijuana is "one more thing we have to deal with, but it's not overwhelming," state police Lt. J.P. Sinclair said. He said he's aware of only a half-dozen cases of patients or caregivers selling excess marijuana illegally since medical uses of it were legalized in 2004. Medical marijuana busts are not tallied separately from other marijuana crimes, he said, making it difficult to give an exact figure. In Maine, where medical marijuana was approved in 1999, Hallowell Police Chief Eric Nason said his department sees burglaries related to prescription opiates and other drugs, but not marijuana. His department treats a dispensary in town like any other business. But differences among marijuana laws may make comparisons with other states irrelevant, said Enfield Police Chief Richard Crate, who opposes such legalization. In Maine, for example, possession of small amounts of marijuana for non-medical reasons is only a civil infraction, so enforcement is not a high priority, Nason said. Crate said he sympathizes with doctors and lawmakers that want to give terminally ill patients a measure of comfort, but the list of permissible conditions in the bill is too broad. He said New Hampshire police should not be burdened with distinguishing between medical and nonmedical users and legally and illegally grown pot, especially since budgets for police work are already spread thin. Also unlike Vermont and Maine, the New Hampshire bill would allow patients with out-of-state medical marijuana cards to purchase from dispensaries. That's bound to create challenges of its own, said Becky DeKeuster, who operates the Hallowell dispensary and three others in Maine. "There's such a patchwork here, with 18 states plus D.C. having different laws regarding possession limits and qualifying conditions I wouldn't be comfortable treating patients from other states," she said. She said her dispensaries keep detailed records of where their marijuana is going. Because her business is still at odds with federal law that makes marijuana illegal, she said her businesses have to be "better than good" about self-regulating. The New Hampshire proposal would also require those allowed to possess the drug to carry a registration card if they have marijuana. If they don't, they could be fined and arrested. Caregivers and dispensary personnel would need federal background checks and could not have prior drug convictions. The state registry called for under the law would contain information on patients, caregivers, dispensary employees and locations where marijuana is grown. Concerns that the law will be manipulated are overblown, Rep. Donna Schlachman, D-Exeter, said at a recent hearing on the bill she introduced. "There are lots of hoops to jump through. You cannot physician-shop and just start getting multiple prescriptions," she said. The program would generate no tax revenue, but as written, would not cost the state any money. Dispensaries would need to be located 1,000 feet from any school and outside residential areas. They would also need to comply with local zoning laws, which have become an issue in other states. Cities and towns in Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont have sought to change zoning rules to block dispensaries from opening in their communities. The issue was so contentious in Maine the legislature passed a law preventing municipalities from changing zoning requirements to keep out dispensaries, DeKeuster said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Morgan True, The Associated PressPublished:  March 2, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by Cootdog_1 on March 11, 2013 at 13:41:20 PT:
License to Grow
What do leaders of the government really want ... ? Money. They must be supported in every respect, and are
with taxes paid by The People. So why not have a licenses program for Home Growers? If I wanted to go fishing,
driving a car or having a drink at the local restaurant, I would pay the state. If I wanted to grow marijuana I
should be able to pay for a license to grow no more than 10 plants.And just like any other license, there are rules. For a driver, for example, rules include stopping at all red lights.
Rules for all, relative to marijuana, might be 'No smoking or taking any drugs in public'.It would be interesting to have all government workers take a drug test for marijuana. People will do what they
want and as long as there are No victims, there is No crime. The license would provide millions to keep supporting
government and their pension funded. The license would stop the Drug violence in addition to raising big bucks.Governor Hassan needs more income, maybe gambling will help but a Growers License would also help. If you
are over 21 and can afford it, I think its a given Liberty to go fishing, drive or smoke a little hooch just before
sitting down to some good home cooked food from time to time.Make it simple because there are thousands that use cannabis on a daily basis without the police knowing. The state gets income from licenses and growers get high in their closet :-)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 03, 2013 at 18:16:22 PT
We thought that could happen. If it really happens that would be good. It's a big waste of money. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 03, 2013 at 11:40:59 PT
it's finally begun
They're finally starting to lose their jobs!!!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on March 02, 2013 at 10:32:24 PT:
One more reason for bypassing MMJ and going for 
the big brass ring of legalization:"Crate said he sympathizes with doctors and lawmakers that want to give terminally ill patients a measure of comfort, but the list of permissible conditions in the bill is too broad...And who the flying f- is he to make that determination?"He said New Hampshire police should not be burdened with distinguishing between medical and nonmedical users and legally and illegally grown pot, especially since budgets for police work are already spread thin.This is about as succinct an argument from LE as to why we should just re-legalize as I have ever heard...not that he actually intended to do so. After all, the laws are not crafted to serve LE but the citizens at large...or that was the line I had in my long-ago civics classes.So long as we continue to allow scientifically ignorant prohibition 'stakeholders' to throttle progress on the basis of medicinal efficacy as they, in their ignorance, determine it we will always be 'behind the eight ball'. This allows them to tie us up in a Gordian Knot that we don't have the means of unraveling - and they know that. Time to quit dancing to their tune and make them dance to ours. Re-legalization cuts through their damn knot the way Alexander the Great's sword did the one at Phrygia. We've wasted enough time...and lives. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment