Marijuana: New Hampshire Adds Chronic Pain to Qualifying Conditions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MPP WEBSITE)

 

New Hampshire Adds Chronic Pain to Qualifying Conditions

 Aug 17, 2017  


New Hampshire’s therapeutic cannabis law is finally expanding to include patients who suffer from chronic pain. HB 157 went into effect on Tuesday, adding “moderate to severe chronic pain” as a qualifying condition. This new law will allow many more Granite Staters to use cannabis as an alternative to prescribed opioids — a critically important reform for a state that is struggling to turn the tide against opiate addiction.

Until this week, patients could only qualify with a pain diagnosis if their pain was deemed to be “severe” and related to one of the specific medical conditions provided for in the law. As a result, it was much easier for medical providers to prescribe opioids than to certify patients for therapeutic cannabis. Patients who would like to apply now that the law has changed can access the updated application forms here.

For those who are waiting for the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that is scheduled to take effect on August 27.

NH Senator Humphrey says Trump ‘seriously sick,’ ‘dangerous,’ should be removed from office

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WMUR NEW HAMPSHIRE)

 

NH Primary Source first: Humphrey says Trump ‘seriously sick,’ ‘dangerous,’ should be removed from office

After ‘fire and fury’ comment, former US Senator asks congressional delegation to support steps to oust president

Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey says President Donald Trump is "seriously sick" and is unfit to serve as president.

Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey says President Donald Trump is “seriously sick” and is unfit to serve as president.

(The full Thursday, Aug. 10 New Hampshire Primary Source column can be seen here.)

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HUMPHREY: TRUMP IS ‘SERIOUSLY SICK.’ It’s not the first time former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey has accused Donald Trump of being unfit for the office of president. Last year, the conservative Republican and Chichester resident called candidate Trump a “sociopath” with a “severe personality disorder.”

Humphrey, a staunch “Never Trumper” who supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 GOP presidential nomination contest, unsuccessfully fought at the Republican National Convention as part of a “delegates unbound” movement to allow delegates to vote their consciences in an attempt to block the Trump nomination.

And when he tried unsuccessfully to raise a parliamentary point at the convention, he charged that he was “immediately drowned out by people I would refer to as brownshirts” – that is, Trump supporters.

Now, Humphrey is citing the president’s Tuesday promise to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if that nation continues its nuclear aggression. Humphrey says Trump is “sick of mind” and “dangerous” –- and should be removed from office.

“President Trump’s threat to rain down ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Humphrey wrote Wednesday in a letter to U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, which he shared first with WMUR.

“It’s crazy.”

Humphrey said he sent similar letters to U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and to U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

Humphrey urged the members of the congressional delegation, all Democrats, to support H.R. 1987, which would establish an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity to determine whether the president is “mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office” of president and should be removed under 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

H.R. 1987 is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Missouri, and has 27 House cosponsors. All cosponsors are Democrats — Kuster and Shea-Porter are not among them.

Shea-Porter spokeswoman Marjorie Connolly said the congresswoman’s office received the letter.

“The congresswoman agrees with Senator Humphrey that the Trump presidency has veered far off the rails,” Connolly said. “However, she believes creating a commission to pass judgment on the president’s mental health sets a potentially anti-democratic precedent. Having said that, she thinks Congress needs to put patriotism over politics as the investigations continue.”

Kuster spokesman Nick Brown said, ““Congresswoman Kuster has concerns about the potential precedent set by H.R. 1987. She is alarmed by the policies and actions of Mr. Trump, and her top priority remains the safety of the American people.”

Shaheen and Hassan had no comment on the letter.

The four members of the congressional delegation on Tuesday were critical of Trump’s “fire and fury” comments calling them “dangerous,” “bellicose” and “chilling.”

A top Trump supporter, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, defended the president and questioned Humphrey’s mental stability.

“Gordon Humphrey should be in a nursing home,” Baldasaro told WMUR. “I think he has dementia. He’s losing it. He hates Trump, so this is nothing new.”

Humphrey, since his days as a senator from 1979-1990, has been known as blunt and outspoken, and he has not changed.

“Donald Trump is impaired by a seriously sick psyche,” Humphrey wrote to Kuster. “His sick mind and reckless conduct could consume the lives of millions. The threat of nuclear war is steeply on the rise.”

“You must not take comfort in the system of checks and balances,” he continued. “The president alone has the authority to launch nuclear weapons, the only restraint being the advice of senior advisers who might be present at the time of crisis, and Donald Trump has shown repeated contempt for informed and wise counsel. He is sick of mind, impetuous, arrogant, belligerent and dangerous.

“Donald Trump should be relieved of the powers of the presidency at the earliest date.”

“Serious crises are bearing down on us,” Humphrey wrote. “We cannot leave our national security and our families’ safety in the hands of a president whose poor judgment, belligerence, vindictiveness and reckless impetuosity constitute an indictment of his mental health.

“Donald Trump is seriously sick. He is dangerous. As a citizen, a former U.S. Senator and 12-year member of the (Senate) Armed Services Committee, I urge you to act once. This is an emergency.”

In an interview, Humphrey told WMUR, “The greatest concern I have always had about his instability was in connection with his role as commander-in-chief. There are constitutional checks and balances, but the president alone has the power to launch nuclear weapons. The only control is the advice of senior counsel and advisers and Trump is not someone who listens to advice.”

“The United States in this situation should act with strength but it should be done in such a way as not to evoke irrationality,” Humphrey said.

Baldasaro, a Marine veteran who co-chaired Trump’s national campaign veterans coalition, countered, “The president put the fear of God into North Korea and tells it like it is. Gordon Humphrey needs to crawl back into his hole.”

Baldasaro said Humphrey “got his feelings hurt because his candidate didn’t win. He needs to get his head out of his butt and focus on the fact that this guy (North Korean leader Kim Jong-un) wants to kill Americans.”

“I’m glad we have a president to put them in their place, and I bet North Korea will back down because this is a sign of strength,” Baldasaro said.

Donald ‘Fake News’ Trump Tells Mexico’s President That “New Hampshire Is A Drug-Infested Den”

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump, in a conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, labeled New Hampshire “a drug-infested den,” according to a transcript of Trump’s January 27 call that was published by The Washington Post on Thursday.

The comment was quickly decried by Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Granite State, including the state’s Republican governor who endorsed Trump during the 2016 campaign.
During the call, according to the Post, Trump lashed out at Peña Nieto for the quantity of illegal drugs that come into the United States from Mexico.
“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy,” Trump said.
He later bragged that he won the Granite State because of the opioid epidemic.
“I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den,” he said.
Asked by CNN to comment on the transcript, Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said only that he “can’t confirm or deny the authenticity of allegedly leaked classified documents.”
Trump did, in fact, win the Republican primary in New Hampshire, more than doubling the vote total received by his nearest competitor, Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Trump, however, narrowly lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Trump seized on the opioid epidemic while campaigning in New Hampshire throughout 2015 and 2016, promising the people of the state that he would boost local clinics, help those who are already hooked on opioids and stop the flow of drugs coming into the state.
The issue was so critical to Trump that he headlined an event in New Hampshire focused strictly on opioids days before the 2016 election.
“I just want to let the people of New Hampshire know that I’m with you 1,000%, you really taught me a lot,” he said before promising to help people who “are so seriously addicted.”
And he has made similar comments in the past about how inexpensive drugs can be.
“We’re becoming a drug-infested nation,” Trump said in February. “Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.”
Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu flatly said Trump’s statement was “wrong” in a statement on Thursday.
“It’s disappointing his mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer,” he said. “We are already seeing positive signs of our efforts as overdoses and deaths are declining in key parts of the state. In spite of this crisis, New Hampshire remains the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
New Hampshire’s two Democratic senators also blasted the comments.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen tweeted that Trump needed to apologize to the state of New Hampshire and “then should follow through on his promise to Granite Staters to help end this crisis.”
“It’s absolutely unacceptable for the President to be talking about NH in this way — a gross misrepresentation of NH & the epidemic,” she wrote.
Sen. Maggie Hassan called Trump’s comments “disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” Hassan wrote. “Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, [Trump] needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.”
And the Democratic National Committee said the comments prove that Trump “looks at the opioid epidemic as a political advantage, rather than a national crisis that demands the attention and care of our President.”
Multiple White House officials failed to respond to CNN’s questions about the President’s comments about New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is one of the states most directly impacted by the opioid crisis. According to the NH Drug Monitoring Initiative, drug overdose deaths have climbed in the state since 2012 and it expected to again hit an all-time high once data from 2016 is tabulated.
A national study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 25% of all drug overdose deaths were related to heroin in 2015. That number was just 6% in 1999.
In response to the epidemic, Trump created a White House panel tasked with looking into how the federal government should respond. The panel, which is being led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, released its interim report earlier this week and suggested that Trump declare a state of emergency to combat opioids.
“Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it,” read its report. “The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency.”
The report added: “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks,” noting the fact that 142 Americans die from drug overdoses every day.

White House Senior Policy Advisors Talking Points On Voter Fraud: Lies, Lies And More Lies?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller appeared on ABC’s “The Week” on Sunday, spouting a bunch of false talking points on alleged voter fraud. (He also repeated similar claims on other Sunday talk shows.) To his credit, host George Stephanopoulus repeatedly challenged Miller, noting that he had provided no evidence to support his claims. But Miller charged ahead, using the word “fact” three times in a vain effort to bolster his position.

Here’s a guide through the back and forth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on, though, to the question of voter fraud as well. President Trump again this week suggested in a meeting with senators that thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and that’s what caused his defeat in the state of New Hampshire, also the defeat of Senator Kelly Ayotte.

That has provoked a response from a member of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, who says, “I call upon the president to immediately share New Hampshire voter fraud evidence so that his allegations may be investigated promptly.”

Do you have that evidence?

Stephanopoulus is referring to a Feb. 10 Politico report of a closed-door meeting Trump held with senators to discuss the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court: “The president claimed that he and Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the ‘thousands’ of people who were ‘brought in on buses’ from neighboring Massachusetts to ‘illegally’ vote in New Hampshire. According to one participant who described the meeting, ‘an uncomfortable silence’ momentarily overtook the room.”

Ayotte lost her Senate race by about 1,000 votes but did not challenge the results; Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in New Hampshire by nearly 3,000 votes.

MILLER: I have actually, having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire, I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.

This is false. PolitiFact New Hampshire in November gave the state’s governor, Chris Sununu, a “Pants on Fire” for claiming that voters were bused in — and Sununu quickly retreated from his comment. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said voter fraud was not widespread problem, largely because the law requires voters to show a valid identification at the polls. If an ID is lacking, the voter’s photo is taken, they have to sign an affidavit affirming their identify and then state officials follow up.

Why the White House’s claims about voter fraud don’t add up

The Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee explains why White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s claims on Jan. 24 about voter fraud in the presidential election don’t add up. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Sunni later said he did not mean to imply that “I see buses coming over,” saying it was more of a figure of speech. “Sununu said he was referring to an incident over Portsmouth state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark allowing Democratic staffers to live at her house in the 2008 and 2012 elections,” PolitiFact reported. “Those staffers voted in New Hampshire elections using Fuller Clark’s address, which is not illegal, as they were living in the state at least 3 months before the election, the Attorney General later ruled.”

We sent the White House the PolitiFact article and asked the White House for additional evidence. We will update if we receive a response.

MILLER: But I can tell you this, voter fraud is a serious problem in this country. You have millions of people who are registered in two states or who are dead who are registered to vote. And you have 14 percent of noncitizens, according to academic research, at a minimum, are registered to vote, which is an astonishing statistic.

Ugh. Miller has again resorted to bogus claims that we have repeatedly debunked.

To repeat:

A 2012 Pew Center on the States study found problems with inaccurate voter registrations, people who registered in more than one state (which could happen if the voter moves and registers in the new state without telling the former state) and deceased voters whose information was still on the voter rolls. But the primary author of the Pew report tweeted in response to Trump’s staff’s claim that he “can confirm that report made no findings re: voter fraud.”

We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.

As to the 14 percent figure — stemming from research by Old Dominion University professors, using data from 2008 and 2010 — that also has been misrepresented by Trump and his staff. They have ignored updates and challenges to the research. The researchers have also warned that “it is impossible to tell for certain whether the noncitizens who responded to the survey were representative of the broader population of noncitizens.”

One of the researchers, Jesse Richman, wrote about the Trump staff’s use of his research. The results “suggest that almost all elections in the US are not determined by noncitizen participation, with occasional and very rare potential exceptions,” he said, noting that “there has been a tendency to misread our results as proof of massive voter fraud, which we don’t think they are.”

In other words, the researcher whom Miller is citing says his research does not show what Miller claims.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can’t make a — hold on a second. You just claimed again that there was illegal voting in New Hampshire, people bused in from the state of Massachusetts. Do you have any evidence to back that up?

MILLER: I’m saying anybody — George, go to New Hampshire. Talk to anybody who has worked in politics there for a long time. Everybody is aware of the problem in New Hampshire with respect to —

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m asking you as the White House senior — hold on a second. I’m asking you as the White House senior policy adviser. The president made a statement, saying he was the victim of voter fraud, people are being bused from —

MILLER: And the president — the president — the president was.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence?

MILLER: If this is an issue that interests you, then we can talk about it more in the future. And we now have — our governance is beginning to get stood up. But we have a Department of Justice and we have more officials.

An issue of voter fraud is something we’re going to be looking at very seriously and very hard.

But the reality is, is that we know for a fact, you have massive numbers of noncitizens registered to vote in this country. Nobody disputes that.

False. As shown above, this is disputed even by the researcher whose work is being cited by Miller: “There has been a tendency to misread our results as proof of massive voter fraud, which we don’t think they are.”

MILLER: And many, many highly qualified people, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, have looked deeply into this issue and have confirmed it to be true and have put together evidence.

And I suggest you invite Kris Kobach onto your show and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud in greater detail.

Miller mentioned Kobach, but the latter’s efforts at proving voter fraud have been mocked in Kansas.

In a scathing editorial titled “Kris Kobach is a big fraud on Kansas voter fraud,” the Kansas City Star accused the “publicity-seeking” Kansas secretary of state of throwing out “wild claims” and wasting taxpayer funds as part of “loathsome attacks on U.S. immigration policy.”

State Rep. John Carmichael, a Democrat, has introduced a bill to strip Kobach of his prosecutorial power because he has “dramatically overstated the frequency of voter fraud during his tenure as Kansas’ secretary of state,” the Wichita Eagle reported in January. “Carmichael noted that Kobach has not brought a single case against a noncitizen for voting illegally. All of the cases he has brought concern U.S. citizens accused of voting in more than one state.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: Just for the record, you have provided absolutely no evidence. The president’s made a statement.

MILLER: The White House has provided enormous evidence with respect to voter fraud, with respect to people being registered in more than one state, dead people voting, noncitizens being registered to vote. George, it is a fact and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of noncitizens in this country who are registered to vote. That is a scandal.

As noted, the “enormous evidence” has been repeatedly debunked.

MILLER: We should stop the presses. And, as a country, we should be aghast about the fact that you have people who have no right to vote in this country registered to vote, canceling out the franchise of lawful citizens of this country.

That’s the story we should be talking about. And I’m prepared to go on any show, anywhere, anytime, and repeat it and say the president of the United States is correct 100 percent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you just repeated, though, you just made those declarations. But, for the record, you have provided zero evidence that the president was the victim of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire. You provided zero evidence that the president’s claim that he would have won the general — the popular vote — if 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants hadn’t voted, zero evidence for either one of those claims.

The Pinocchio Test

Stephanopoulos is right. The White House continues to provide zero evidence to back up its claims of voter fraud. Officials instead retreat to the same bogus talking points that have been repeatedly shown to be false.

It’s pretty shameless to cite research in a way that even the researcher says is inappropriate, and yet Miller keeps saying 14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote. The Republican governor of New Hampshire has admitted that he was wrong to say buses of illegal voters voted in the election, and yet Miller shamelessly suggests that is the case. Miller cites a supposed expert on voter fraud, Kobach, who has been mocked for failing to prove his own claims of voter fraud. Miller also repeats a claim about people being registered to vote in two states, even though that is not an example of voter fraud.

Miller earns Four Pinocchios — over and over again.

Four Pinocchios

 

New Hampshire House Committee Approves Decriminalization Of Marijuana

 

MPP Blog


New Hampshire House Committee Approves Decriminalization Bill

Posted: 09 Feb 2017 11:37 AM PST

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee overwhelmingly voted to pass HB 640, a bill that would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The vote, 14-2, was overwhelming, and it appears very likely that the House will pass HB 640 with a huge margin of support.

The Committee also voted to “retain” HB 656, a bill that would make marijuana legal for adult use. This is a good thing because it means the Committee will be able to study the issue more thoroughly this summer and fall before they vote on the bill in early 2018.

The post New Hampshire House Committee Approves Decriminalization Bill appeared first on MPP Blog.

Adult Use Bills Introduced in Maryland Senate

Posted: 09 Feb 2017 11:28 AM PST

This week, two companion bills that would legalize and regulate personal use amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up were introduced in the Maryland Senate.

SB 928 would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to grow up to six plants, and would set up regulated businesses that would cultivate, process, and sell cannabis, including a “craft cultivator” category for small businesses. SB 927 sets a $30 per ounce excise tax and 9% sales tax (the same as alcohol). Half of the proceeds would go to high-poverty schools.

Much of the cannabis discussion in the General Assembly is about Maryland’s continuing failure to properly implement its medical program. The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition strongly supports making medical cannabis available as soon as possible, but this bill would not impact the medical program — it would set up a parallel system for adults. Every year as the General Assembly waits to pass these reforms, thousands more people are searched, fined, and often arrested for using a substance safer than alcohol.

If you are a Maryland resident, please let your lawmakers know the time has come to allow adults to use cannabis.

The post Adult Use Bills Introduced in Maryland Senate appeared first on MPP Blog.

Jeff Sessions Confirmed as Attorney General

Posted: 09 Feb 2017 09:48 AM PST

On Wednesday, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was narrowly confirmed as the new Attorney General in a 51-47 vote, split largely along party lines.

MPP released the following statement from its federal policies director, Robert Capecchi:

“MPP remains cautiously optimistic that the Trump administration will refrain from interfering in state marijuana laws. When asked about his plans for marijuana enforcement, Attorney General Sessions said he ‘echo[es]’ the position taken by Loretta Lynch during her confirmation hearings. He repeatedly acknowledged the scarcity of enforcement resources, and he said he would ensure they are used as effectively as possible to stop illicit drugs from being trafficked into the country.

“President Trump has consistently said that states should be able to determine their own marijuana laws, and his spokesperson made it clear that the attorney general will be implementing the Trump agenda. We are hopeful that Mr. Sessions will follow the president’s lead and respect states’ rights on marijuana policy.

“A strong and growing majority of Americans think marijuana should be made legal, and an even stronger majority think the federal government should respect state marijuana laws. Eight states have adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana for adult use, and 28 states now have laws that regulate marijuana for medical use. It would be shocking if the Trump administration attempted to steamroll the citizens and governments in these states to enforce an increasingly unpopular federal policy.”

Sessions was asked about marijuana policy on multiple occasions during the confirmation process. During his oral testimony, he conspicuously refrained from committing to enforce federal marijuana prohibition laws in states that are regulating marijuana for medical and adult use, noting the scarcity of resources available. In his written testimony, he said he “echo[es]” the comments made by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, when she was asked about marijuana enforcement during her confirmation hearing.

President Donald Trump has consistently said that he supports legal access to medical marijuana and believes states should be able to determine their own marijuana policies. During a January appearance on Fox News Channel, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer signaled that Sessions would adhere to Trump’s position that states should be able to establish their own marijuana policies. “When you come into a Trump administration, it’s the Trump agenda you’re implementing and not your own,” he said. “I think Senator Sessions is well aware of that.”

 

The post Jeff Sessions Confirmed as Attorney General appeared first on MPP Blog.