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N.H. Lung Cancer Patient Challenges State in Court for Medical Marijuana ID Card

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A judge heard arguments Thursday in a case challenging the state's decision to hold off on issuing medical marijuana identification cards to patients.

Alstead resident Linda Horan suffers from late-stage lung cancer and wants to use medical marijuana to ease her symptoms. The state isn't issuing medical marijuana ID cards until dispensaries are ready to open, which isn't likely to happen until early 2016.

Horan’s attorney Paul Twomey says his client wants to be able to use the ID card in Maine because the state allows for this kind of crossover by visiting patients. State attorneys argued New Hampshire's law is set up to make sure the state can closely monitor dispensaries and it's important to hold off on distributing the cards until they're ready to open. They also questioned whether Horan would be able to use her ID card in Maine.

But after the hearing, Horan said she and other patients don't have the luxury of waiting.

"I want the state to stop dragging their feet over technicalities when you're talking about sick people, terminally ill people who don't have the time for attorneys to fight and who otherwise spend their final days under opiates, not awake and aware," Horan said. "We don't have the time to fool around."

On Thursday, the judge asked Twomey to provide more written documentation of Maine's rules around medical marijuana but did not issue a final decision.

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