After a premeditated threat to veto a medical marijuana bill, similar to one in 2009, Democrat Governor John Lynch says he vows to veto a bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes once again in New Hampshire. However, threat of a veto occurring has not diverted the New Hampshire Medical Marijuana legislation mission, to pass a bill that relaxes laws governing cannabis usage, and not just for medicinal purposes. Symptoms or treatment results covered in the New Hampshire Marijuana bill would be listed as wasting syndrome, severe pain (that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than 3 months), elevated intraocular pressure, severe nausea, severe vomiting, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
The House of Representatives of Republican-controlled New Hampshire passed the bill last week, which was heavily favored, if not lopsided, 236-96. The NH marijuana bill, known as SB 409-FN, is an act relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions or the patient’s designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered location.
Republican Senator Jim Forsythe, the bill’s prime sponsor, claims that that support for allowing medical marijuana in New Hampshire is perfectly aligned or consistent with the principles of the Republican Party. Although Forsythe has been quoted on the record for never using marijuana, in terms of principle, he said, “I don’t believe it’s appropriate for government to interfere with choices that should be made between a doctor and a patient.”
“The promise to veto medical marijuana by Governor Lynch shows a disappointing lack of compassion for patients battling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS,” Forsythe added. Governor Lynch’s spokesman, James Richardson, has said that despite Lynch’s threat to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, he has compassion for people who believe in marijuana’s benefits but is concerned about a lack of control over its distribution. Lynch had vetoed a similar New Hampshire medical marijuana bill back in 2009, despite the House’s effort to pass it over his veto. Their efforts to pass over it his veto fell two vote shorts in the Senate.
After last week’s historic House of Representatives vote in New Hampshire and Governor John Lynch’s heartless devotion to vetoing the bill, all eyes will be upon the legislators who have not crossed that imaginary line between “undecided” and “supportive”. Despite Lynch and other legislators lagging behind, medical marijuana is widely supported by the New Hampshire public. In a Mason-Dixon Poll conducted in 2008, 71% of New Hampshire voters, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents, support allowing seriously ill patients to use and grow doctor-recommended medical marijuana for personal use in New Hampshire.
SB 409-FN will return to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before heading to the governor’s desk. If a veto does occur and the bill’s supporters can manage to get more than three votes in the Senate, New Hampshire will become the 17th medical marijuana state to allow the use of medical marijuana.