CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.
On Thursday, the state Senate passed HB573 18-6.
The legislation would allow qualifying patients to legally possess and use marijuana to treat illnesses including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and Crohn’s Disease. It would also create a system for setting up dispensaries in the state.
The House passed the bill 286-64 in March, but the Senate approved an amended version to satisfy several demands by Gov. Maggie Hassan. The Senate version strips allowances for growing marijuana at home and drops the number of approved dispensaries from five to four. It also removes post-traumatic stress from the list of approved conditions and adds a resident requirement for an affirmative defense in court. Hassan has indicated she won’t sign a bill with a home-grown option, although she supported it as a Senator.
The legislation will now go back to the House. According to an AP report, it will likely ask to negotiate a compromise.
Activists say they hope to resurrect the home grow option in the final version, but even with the restrictions, the bill would drastically improve prospects for New Hampshire residents who currently risk prison if they treat their pain with marijuana.
‘‘All of us recognize it has been proven to provide relief from pain and suffering,’’ Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) said.
Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.
Doubt this? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to legalize federal alcohol prohibition?
Never-the-less, 19 states have already put the well-being of their citizens above faux federal supremacy, nullified the unconstitutional prohibition and legalized medical marijuana anyway. And Illinois and New Hampshire may well become states number 20 and 21. The Illinois legislature sent its medical marijuana bill to the governor for his signature earlier this week.
The message? When enough people say NO to unconstitutional federal “laws” – and enough states back them up, there’s not much the feds can do about it.
“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully nullify unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.
You can track state-level legislation nullifying the federal ban HERE.