CONCORD, N.H. (March 20, 2013) – The New Hampshire House overwhelmingly passed a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use on Wednesday.  Passage into law would nullify, as 18 states are already doing, unconstitutional federal bans on the plant.

HB573 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana if their doctor recommends it. Patients would be able to grow up to three mature marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

The bill, with its title amended to AN ACT  Relative to the Use of Cannabis for Therapeutic Purposes, passed 286-64.

 A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest by state or local law enforcement, prosecution or penalty under state or municipal law, or be denied any right or privilege for the therapeutic use of cannabis in accordance with this chapter.

Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to prohibit weed. The Supreme Court concurs. But sharing an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. You can claim you are a unicorn, but you’re not. Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.


So, more and more states continue to do exactly what they should do when the federal government tries exercise power it does not legitimately possess.

Ignore it.

Eighteen states have done just that, legalizing medical marijuana. That wave continues to build, with even more state legislatures considering medicinal marijuana legislation in the 2013 session, and more likely to follow suit.

This marks the fourth time the New Hampshire House has passed a medical marijuana bill. Former Gov. John Lynch vetoed two bills, and the Senate killed one previous effort. According to an AP report, Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley indicated Senate support for a medical marijuana bill exists, but its version would likely include changes. Current Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she would likely sign such a bill.

“The Governor believes any measure permitting the use of medically prescribed marijuana must ensure that the method of distribution is safe and tightly regulated and has concerns about the ability to properly regulate a home grow option, but she will continue to listen to the concerns of advocates, law enforcement and legislators as the legislative process moves forward,” governor’s office spokesman Marc Goldberg said.

Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter) sponsored HB573, along with a strong bipartisan coalition of eight Republican and five Democrat cosponsors.

New Hampshire residents support medical marijuana by a large margin. A Granite State Poll conducted in February found that 79 percent of New Hampshire adults support allowing doctors to recommend marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.

The feds insists Americans can’t use marijuana. That hasn’t stopped 18 states from legalizing medicinal cannabis. And the people of Colorado and Washington voted for full marijuana legalization last November.

“Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars…none,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “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.”

The New Hampshire Medical Society requested the amended title, removing the term marijuana from the bill.

HB573 now moves on to the New Hampshire Senate for consideration.


If you live in New Hampshire, contact your state senator and ask him/her to vote YES on HB573. You can find legislative contact information HERE.

If you don’t live in New Hampshire, you can track marijuana legislation across the U.S. and find model legislation to introduce in your state HERE.

Mike Maharrey

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