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Gov. Sununu OKs expansion of medical marijuana

Jul 03, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Gov. Chris Sununu has signed several bills that increase access to medical marijuana in New Hampshire.

  • HB 157 allows doctors to authorize medical marijuana use for chronic pain.
  • SB 17 states that a patient can use medical marijuana for hepatitis C even without receiving antiviral treatment.
  • HB 160 incorporates the changes from both of those bills, generally expands the definition of “qualifying medical condition” for marijuana use, and explicitly allows medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder.  Under this bill, doctors will be able to recommend medical marijuana for patients with many qualifying symptoms, not just patients with a medical condition from a set list.

All of these changes will go into effect by the end of August.  Patients interested in more information should contact their doctor or visit the state’s website, here.

In favor of expanding medical marijuana

Supporters argue that marijuana is much safer than many prescription drugs, such as the opioids that fuel New Hampshire’s current addiction crisis. 

Supporters also argue that doctors – not lawmakers – should decide if medical marijuana is right for a patient.  By expanding the definition of “qualifying medical condition,” HB 160 is giving doctors more flexibility in patient care.

Arguments against expanding medical marijuana

Opponents argue that there is inadequate evidence that medical marijuana is safe or effective.  They also note that marijuana can be abused just like any other drug, prescription or not.  By allowing medical marijuana for more conditions, the Legislature is sending a false message to residents that marijuana use is safe.

Learn more

When we asked our community about allowing medical marijuana for chronic pain, the response was overwhelmingly in favor.  Click here to see our summary of the discussion

Want to learn more about expanding the eligibility for medical marijuana?  Visit our issue page

Do you agree that New Hampshire should allow medical marijuana for more conditions?  Let us know in the comments.

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Christopher Sununu
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NH Governor (2016 - present); Executive Councilor (2010 - 2016); Owner/Director, Sununu Enterprises; CEO, Waterville Valley Ski Resort; Strategic Consultant; Environmental Engineer

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