Linda Horan was dying when she decided to sue the state of New Hampshire. She was only 64 and in the midst of suffering from late-stage lung cancer. As a former, dedicated labor activist, fighting for her rights against all odds was not a new concept for Horan…but she was fighting for something different this time.
Linda Horan simply wanted the right to use cannabis medically.
New Hampshire had legalized medical cannabis – several years prior – but in November of 2015 when Linda went to court, there had been no dispensaries established at which one could purchase that medicine from. Linda just wanted a legal medical card and the chance to utilize the cannabis she was able to obtain from dispensaries in Maine when she came back home to New Hampshire.
She was going to be in for a real fight. Because the medical program wasn’t set up to be officially ready and running until the next year, 2016, high powered lawyers for New Hampshire state argued that issuing a card to Horan before that time would limit their ability control of the distribution of cannabis. However, Horan knew she might not be alive when the medical marijuana dispensaries officially opened in New Hampshire the next year – so why not let her use medicine the residents of New Hampshire had already approved?
All things considered, when he ruled in late November of 2015, the judge felt Linda had enough valid arguments in order to side in her favor. Linda was “over the moon.”
In an article by the Portland Press Herald Linda is quoted, after the verdict,
“It really hasn’t sunk in,” Horan said. “I’m in tears – tears of joy. Not just for me, but for everyone else who will have the opportunity to get the medicine they need. If I’m going down, I’m going down swinging.”
Just a few short days after Horan received her New Hampshire state-issued card, something remarkable happened. Patients that had been waiting for years started to get some incredible mail. UnionLeader.com reports,
“The court ruling applied only to Horan, but just days after the ruling the state started mailing ID cards to 100 patients.”
Linda Horan passed away on Monday, February 1, 2016. She was in the company of those she loved when she passed. She was still just 64.
Linda wasn’t expecting to live for much longer when she decided to sue the state for access to cannabis. She just knew that she had a voice and a right to express it. We should all take inspiration from Linda who made it a point to never give up.
After her death, the Union Leader reported of Linda,
“She was a tenacious advocate for the people. She cared about people; she cared about social justice,” said Glenn Brackett, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.
“Nothing stopped her activism — even facing death she found a way to make her dying a vehicle for change,” wrote radio commentator Arnie Arnesen on her Facebook page.
And NH Representative Renny Cushing, long time friend of Horan aptly stated,
“Linda died the way she lived, with great dignity and great courage.”
img via UnionLeader.com
This post was originally published on July 24, 2018, it was updated on July 25, 2018.