Residents of New Hampshire hoping to overcome the nausea that may be induced by some presidential campaigns that have made the Granite State their second home in the runup to the 2016 primaries can now receive their medical marijuana identification cards, though they’ll still have to wait until the spring to buy pot in the state. Patients there will be able to cross borders with their cards to purchase medical marijuana in nearby states like Maine and bring the pot back home after a woman with terminal cancer sued the state for access to her card.
New Hampshire adult residents were able to get their cards starting Monday, according to WMUR-TV, well ahead of the scheduled opening of the first dispensaries in the state. With their identification cards, patients with illnesses ranging from cancer to glaucoma will be able to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana without worrying about legal repercussions.
The state Legislature approved the sale and use of medical marijuana in 2013 to help combat those illnesses. Recreational users, however, may soon be able to buy pot. The Legislature is considering a bill to legalize marijuana sales for individuals 21 years and older in 2016, a law that marijuana advocates at the Daily Chronic describe as being similar to the legalization measure that was passed in Washington, D.C., in 2014.
New Hampshire is the only New England state where possession of marijuana is a crime, and some 2,900 individuals are arrested annually for simple marijuana possession.
There are four states, plus the District of Columbia, where marijuana is legal, and several other endeavors are in the works. New Hampshire joins several other states where advocates hope to legalize weed, including nearby Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Other states currently considering legalizing weed in some way are Nevada, Arizona, Michigan and California.