In a short You-tube video, former senate candidate for the 2nd Congressional Seat of New Hampshire, and current cancer patient Hardy Macia, pleading his death bed case for the ability to cultivate and use Medical Marijuana to New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan. New Hampshire passed House Bill-573, March 20, 2013, when the house voted in favor, 286-64, allowing individuals the ability to use, and cultivate marijuana for medical use. Provisions of HB-573, allow patients to access marijuana from one of five state regulated health centers and/or cultivate up to three cannabis plants. According to the bill, the state regulated dispensing centers will not begin serving patients for two years, which makes the cultivation aspect of the bill very important for today’s patients in need of this very useful medication.

This is where Hardy Macia’s video comes into the story. Apparently, under the duress of the state law enforcement community and it’s unions, Governor Maggie Hassan has decided the only way she will sign HB-573 is if the cultivation provision is removed from the bill. This obviously puts Mr. Macia and other patients in a legal conundrum.

The video begins with an emaciated, and obviously very ill Hardy Macia whispering his introduction to Governor Hassan. Mr. Macia offers he has been an advocate for the use of medical marijuana for over ten years, due to a cousin’s car accident which left them a quadriplegic. “ But coming down with cancer was not on my radar at all,” Macia states he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last August. Mr. Macia reminds the governor the reasons for HB-573, “its about patients and doctors, and the ability for patients to have the medicine they need.” Hardy continues to cite that twelve other states allow patients the ability to grow up to three plants. Hardy argues allowing the patient to grow their own medicine helps to keep medical costs down for the patient. Whispering the fact that smoking marijuana would be of no use for him, as he has a collapsed lung, but given the ability to have enough plant material, he or a caregiver could prepare an “edible” marijuana cookie, which he would like to use to help with sleeping and overall relief from his illness. Mr. Macia concludes his video asking Governor Hassan to think of the patients, doctors and people of the state of New Hampshire. To listen to the patients and the people and their will, while telling the law enforcement community to do their job, which as Hardy puts it is, “To Do What The People Tell YOU!!!”

The hope I have sharing this story is for the people of New Hampshire and the Representatives of the New Hampshire State Legislature, who overwhelmingly passed this bill, to put pressure on Governor Maggie Hassan to sign the bill as it was written. Patients like Hardy Macia deserve to have the medicine of his and his doctor’s choosing available to him when his life is a struggle just to exist. There is no need to make criminals out of patients searching for relief from that which ails them. Mr. Macia and patients like him, are the true “face” of the medical marijuana conversation. I wish Mr. Macia Godspeed and relief from his illness.

Note: Macia lost his battle with cancer on May 14. May he rest in peace.

Ronald Martin

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