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New Hampshire

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    The war on drugs is just one part of a larger criminal justice system that many believe is ill-conceived and dysfunctional. An organized approach to reforming America’s criminal justice system and ending its recent history of mass incarceration starts with Congress. In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to create a national commission to study the U.S. criminal justice system and make recommendations for reform, but it was never voted on in the Senate. The same act failed to pass the Senate by just three votes in 2011. The Commission, which stands to be reintroduced this year, would have as its agenda the thorough examination of over-incarceration, wrongful convictions, failed drug war policies, racial disparities, and more, before then making recommendations for reform.

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    The goal of medical marijuana advocates is to protect patients and to end the federal ban on medical marijuana. Although an overwhelming majority of Americans support medical marijuana, the federal government continues to impede state medical marijuana laws. Perhaps the most damaging outcome of marijuana prohibition is that many sick people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them. For many seriously ill people, marijuana is the only medicine that relieves their pain and suffering, or treats symptoms of their medical condition without debilitating side effects. Marijuana has been shown to alleviate symptoms of a huge variety of serious medical conditions including cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma, and is often an effective alternative to synthetic painkillers. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now have medical marijuana laws, and many more states are considering enacting their own laws to protect patients.

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