Medical Marijuana Passes New Hampshire Senate: Lynch Vows Veto; Override Unlikely

The state Senate has inched closer to legalizing medical marijuana in New Hampshire, but the votes aren’t quite there yet.

Sen. Jim Forsythe, a Strafford Republican and primary sponsor of Senate Bill 409, said two senators changed their position and voted yesterday in favor of the legislation, but that still leaves the effort two votes short. A patient or caretaker would be allowed to cultivate up to six ounces of usable marijuana if a physician determines the patient has a qualifying medical condition, defined as a severely debilitating or terminal disease that causes symptoms or treatment results alleviated by marijuana.

Senate President Peter Bragdon, a Milford Republican, and Sen. Fenton Groen, a Rochester Republican, voted for the bill yesterday after opposing it in previous votes, Forsythe said. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who has promised to veto it over concerns raised by law enforcement officials.

“While the governor has compassion for people who believe marijuana could have medicinal benefits, he continues to have very strong concerns with this bill,” Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said in a statement yesterday. “Chief among his concerns are the bill’s lack of adequate controls on the distribution of marijuana, and the potential for proliferation.”

– Read the entire article at The Concord Monitor.