Clayton Holton, 27, a wheelchair user due to a rare form of muscular dystrophy, has made the trip from Rochester, N.H., before to testify in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. One of Holton's symptoms is wasting syndrome — or serious weight loss — and he said marijuana has helped him gain weight and allowed him to take fewer other drugs.
"To live in suffering and agony on a daily basis to the point where you have to take so many opiate drugs just to slightly numb the pain ... that's not quality of life, that's destroying what little life I have," he said.
Holton said, given the option, he would choose to designate a caregiver to grow marijuana for him, instead of purchasing from a dispensary.
Opponents worry that any medical marijuana law would be a regulatory and law enforcement nightmare. In addition, they say it's not the best solution for patients. Dr. Seddon Savage, former president of the New Hampshire Medical Society, said while some patients might find marijuana beneficial they often turn to it before exploring other options, such as two marijuana derivative medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
"As written, this bill does not appear to be aimed at making herbal marijuana available for the rare patients who truly need it, but more for making an infrastructure to distribute marijuana to many people who might feel better using marijuana," she said.