medical marijuana for chronic pain

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​Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain?

Mar 07, 2017

BY: Citizens Count

​Rep. Eric Schleien (R-Hudson) is the prime sponsor of HB 157, a bill to add chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions under therapeutic use of cannabis.

Medicinal marijuana in New Hampshire is currently legal only if a patient has been diagnosed with one of a specific list of conditions or injuries. Click here to see the full list of conditions. Medical marijuana is only allowed for "severe pain" if there is an underlying condition and doctors have exhausted other options.

Elected officials will also review many other bills this session aimed at expanding the list of qualifying conditions. For example, there are bills to add ​opioid addiction (HB 158), fibromyalgia (HB 159), and post-traumatic stress disorder (HB 160) to the list of conditions that permit medical marijuana use.

​Supporters argue that marijuana use for chronic pain provides effective pain relief and poses less risk of addiction when compared with opioid pain relievers. In addition, supporters argue that decisions about treatment should be between a patient and his or her doctor, not the government.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project survey of state laws, most of the 23 states that allow medical marijuana allow marijuana prescriptions for pain management. 

On the other hand, opponents argue that chronic pain is too vague to add as a qualifying condition and question the effectiveness of the drug compared to over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. 

Do you think chronic pain should be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana? Comment below to join the discussion. 

UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.



Carmel Fogarty
- Pittsfield

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:52am

I am someone who suffers from intense chronic nerve pain for which nothing has worked. I am actually going to see someone at the pain clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon on Tuesday, again, but it's iffy on if he'll be able to give me a certificate because I don't have anything that's listed in group A. Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is not on the list. The pain is so bad that some nights I feel that cutting my feet off would be a better option then dealing with the excruciating pain that keeps me up screaming, and now the pain has moved up into my hands and it feels like tiny razor sharp teeth are chewing at my fingers all the time. My quality of life sucks because of the pain I can't get any sleep and that carries over into not being able to function during the day and not being able to play nice with others. It would be a godsend to get relief for my pain, finally, and be able to sleep at night and have better quality of life.

Kari Stephens
- Hampton

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 9:23am

I agree, with any bill, which facilitates patients receiving the medicine, that treats their chronic pain, most effectively and with the least amount of side effects. I believe medicinal marijuana, to be a much safer alternative, to opioid pain killers, in handling chronic pain. Both, in terms of negative, addictive outcomes and unintended physical side effects, such as chronic constipation and digestive complications.


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Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana | 7 comment(s)
Should NH continue to allow medicinal marijuana?


Eric Schleien

Representative, NH House of Representatives (2014 - 2018); Executive Officer, EISCO Value Partners

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