“Voters in New Hampshire are more than ready to move forward with allowing seriously ill patients to use marijuana if their doctors recommend it,”
Cannabis compassion along the eastern seaboard is growing fast. Currently more than two-thirds (68%) of New Hampshire’s constituents believe the state should endorse legislation permitting seriously ill patients the use of medical marijuana if it’s recommended by their doctors, based on a recent survey performed week by Public Policy Polling (PPP). A mere 26% had any reservations regarding such a law.
The Public Policy Polling data, which is being released for public consumption just as state representatives prepare to consider a medical marijuana bill in this year’s legislative session, also found that 52% of voters would be more likely to vote for a state legislator if he or she voted for ‘pro medical weed‘ legislation. Just 27% said they’d be less likely.
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“Voters in New Hampshire are more than ready to move forward with allowing seriously ill patients to use marijuana if their doctors recommend it,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project. “Allowing seriously ill patients to use marijuana to ease their pain and treat their symptoms is a lot more popular these days than threatening them with arrest and prosecution.”
New Hampshire Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter) has recently pushed forward the filing of a medical marijuana bill for consideration in 2013’s legislative session, additionally advocates are optimistic that it will yield a majority support from both the House and the Senate. New Hampshire’s Gov. Maggie Hassan has voiced strong support for enacting medical cannabis legislation. In 2012 an ill-fated medical marijuana bill that passed with flying colors and bipartisan support – was vetoed by then-governor John Lynch.
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Legislators will also consider a bill this year that would decriminalize marijuana and a separate bill that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. The PPP survey found that 62% support enacting a law to replace criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a fine and no jail time, and 53% support taxing and regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol.
This strong support may be the result of voters increasingly recognizing the relative safety compared to prescription painkillers and alcohol. The PPP poll found that 70% of voters believe marijuana is a safer treatment for debilitating pain than Oxycontin, and that a strong plurality believes it is less harmful than alcohol.
“We applaud lawmakers for initiating debate about broader reform, but we must move quickly to pass legislation that will protect people who use marijuana in the treatment of their debilitating medical conditions,” Simon said. “There are a lot of seriously ill patients in New Hampshire who cannot wait any longer to get legal, safe, and reliable access to their medicine.”
Source – MPP