Community Conversations: Should NH Legalize Cannabis?

  • Money and Marijuana. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Published: 1/8/2019 4:26:56 PM

Community Conversations: Should NH Legalize Cannabis?

January 15, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Should New Hampshire legalize cannabis for recreational use?

We are bordered by states (Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont) that have legalized and taxed cannabis for recreational use. New Hampshire allows medical marijuana manufacturing, but is it inevitable that recreational use comes next? The state decriminalized marijuana in 2017, but the bill put forward to legalize recreational use failed to pass in 2018. Health professionals working with teens and young adults are concerned about increased access for a population whose use of controlled substances is already one of the highest in the nation. Financial pressures in a state strapped for cash makes the possibility of a new revenue source attractive. A legislative committee is currently studying the issue and expects a new bill to be put up for vote in 2019. How does New Hampshire craft thoughtful legislation that will satisfy all sides of this issue?

At this Conversation, we will hear from a panel of ‘Conversation Sparkers ‘and then the floor is open to comments, questions, and conversation. Our panel for the evening includes:

Dan Stockwell, Americans for Safe Access

Dan Stockwell is a member of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national organization supporting access to safe, legal cannabis for therapeutic and research purposes and brings a multitude of expertise regarding cannabis, CBD and hemp legalization. Dan has participated in supporting and advocating for medical cannabis and legalization efforts on many levels from local to global along with organizations focused on safe access and community involvement. Dan has also been working closely with the recent NH Cannabis Study Committee, as well as the lesser known NH Industrial Hemp Committee. Those two committees have recently released their reports outlining how legal cannabis will be regulated and how prospective NH hemp farmers will be able to participate in the new hemp agricultural opportunities. Dan is also a qualified Designated Cannabis Caregiver under the New Hampshire Therapeutic Cannabis Program which allows him to legally access the NH state medical cannabis dispensaries for his NH qualified cannabis patients and assist them in using that medication.

Jane Skantze, Monadnock Voices for Prevention

Jane Skantze, a lifelong New Hampshire resident, is the Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator for the Greater Monadnock Public Health Region. As an employee at Cheshire Medical Center, a Dartmouth Hitchcock affiliate, she has taken an active role leading the charge for prevention in the Monadnock Region. In her role as a community health coordinator for Cheshire Medical Center, Jane worked to get tobacco free ordinances passed in nine different towns across the Monadnock region bringing together volunteer advocates and city leaders. Since taking the role of Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator for the Greater Monadnock region in the fall of 2017, Jane has worked with the public and legislators about key prevention issues, facilitated opportunities for training and appeared in Concord to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization.

The Hon. Dr. Joe Hannon

Joe Hannon served as a member of the NH Commission to Study the Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana. He is a former NH state representative who was the prime sponsor of the original bill that would have made SSPs a reality, was the main author and one of the prime drivers responsible for the existing SSP bill that was signed into law. Dr. Hannon was also a cosponsor of the naloxone bill and a leader in the fight for the 911 immunity bill becoming law. He served as the Chairman of the New Hampshire Commission to Study Hypodermic Needles and Syringes. He serves as the Policy Director on the board of directors of the NHHRC, and is an active volunteer providing harm reduction services in New Hampshire. Joe was a member of the Joint Task Force on the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic and serves on the Governor’s Commission Opioid Task Force. Joe is a member of the Strafford County Opioid Task Force and several local organizations working to address the issues of substance misuse, prevention and recovery. He is a certified peer recovery coach and serves as the chair of the advisory board for a large Recovery Community Organization in Strafford County. He has organized and participated in multiple forums related to the opioid epidemic and recovery related issues. Joe is also a person in long term recovery.

Kate Frey, New Futures

Kate Frey serves as Vice President of Advocacy of New Futures and has primary responsibility of directing and managing the organization’s alcohol and other drug policy initiatives. In her role as Vice President of Advocacy, Kate analyzes state budget policies related to the revenues raised from the sale of alcohol in the state in order to ensure adequate and appropriate funding for substance misuse programs and services and works with policymakers and stakeholders to influence spending priorities for prevention, treatment and recovery. Kate furthers the portion of New Futures’ mission related to collaborating and educating to prevent and reduce problems associated with alcohol and other drugs in New Hampshire, and promotes New Futures’ vision of state and local communities whose public policies support prevention, treatment, and recovery oriented efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug problems.

Karen Hatcher, Moderator

Karen Hatcher is a resident of Peterborough, a member of the town Select Board and a member of the steering committee for the Community Conversations series. She is interested in facilitating conversations that lead to active engagement and new citizen-led initiatives.

Community Conversations are free and all are welcome!

Community Conversations is a series that explores many of the issues impacting our communities. A partnership between the Monadnock Center for History and Culture and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, each Conversation features local experts talking about challenges faced by our communities. Some issues are global in nature, but each conversation is designed to examine the topic from a local perspective. The program provides residents with the opportunity to learn more about issues impacting their communities, to engage in a civil dialog with speakers and with each other, and to come away with a sense that there are things that individuals and communities can do to foster change and improvement.

Community Conversations begin at 7 p.m. These programs are held in Bass Hall at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove St., in Peterborough.




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