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Nashua woman charged with trying to buy legal medical marijuana with bogus documents

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 07. 2017 5:02PM

CONCORD — A Nashua woman has been arrested on charges she filed “altered” documents in an attempt to gain access to the state’s therapeutic cannabis program.

According to State Police Lt. Frank Harris, administrators with the state’s therapeutic cannabis program contacted members of the Campus Police Unit after receiving what appeared to be “altered” documentation from a Nashua woman looking to join the program.

On Nov. 16, 2016, State Police Campus Police Officer Shaun Searah spoke with officials at the Therapeutic Cannabis Program, which operates under the Department of Health and Human Services in Concord. According to Harris, Off. Searah obtained witness statements and evidence, then secured an arrest warrant for for the woman, identified as Betzaida Guzman Oquendo, 28, of Nashua.

“This is the first time we’ve responded to a report here on campus of someone illegally altering a document with the cannabis program,” said Harris.

On Wednesday, Oquendo was arrested by Nashua police on charges of tampering with public records or information, based on Off. Searah’s warrant.

Oquendo was released on $500 personal recognizance bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned January 19, 2018 at the 6th Circuit-District Division in Concord.

Under New Hampshire’s law, to qualify for a therapeutic cannabis program, a physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) must issue a written certification that the patient has both a “qualifying medical condition,” such as cancer, muscular dystrophy or traumatic brain injury; and at least one specified symptom, such as severe nausea, seizures or wasting syndrome.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is required by law to report data annually about the program, including the number, ages and qualifying medical conditions of those approved for cards that allow them to purchase medical marijuana at one of the four state-licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs).

The first such report shows there were 2,089 in the Therapeutic Cannabis Program Registry database in 2016. A report for 2017 will be generated by the end of December.

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