Freedom and common sense is on the march as New Hampshire becomes the 19th state (20th if you include Washington, D.C.) allowing the use of medical cannabis. Cannabis law reform activists have had the most success in states with ballot initiatives as we have been able to make our case directly to the people, who are ahead of politicians on the issue. But as public opinion has swung greatly in favor of medical cannabis, we are seeing more and more state legislatures pass medical cannabis laws and governors willing to sign them.
From the Boston Herald:
Fulfilling a campaign promise, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a law Tuesday making New Hampshire the 19th state to allow seriously ill residents to use marijuana to treat their illnesses.
''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,'' Hassan said in a statement.
The law allows patients with cancer and other conditions to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from nonprofit dispensaries. To qualify for medical marijuana, New Hampshire residents would have to have been a patient of the prescribing doctor for at least 90 days, have tried other remedies and have exhibited certain symptoms.
New Hampshire's status as the first primary state in presidential elections will likely make medical cannabis a bigger issue early in the 2016 election as Granite State residents will be curious if would-be presidents will respect their will. With 19 states and our nation's capitol allowing patients to use medical cannabis, we should see more and more movement towards a sane federal policy in the near future, especially as politicians get lobbied from all sides and facets of our political system. Illinois, you are up next...