Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2009
Source: New Hampshire, The (NH Edu)
Copyright: The New Hamphire 2009
Author: Danielle Curtis, Staff Writer


The state Senate voted Wednesday against overriding  Governor Lynch's
veto of a bill that would have  legalized the use of medical marijuana
by severely ill  patients whose doctors recommend the drug.

After being passed in the House by a margin of 240-115,  the effort to
override the veto came to an end in the  Senate, where the override
fell short by just two  votes.

If passed, the override would have made New Hampshire.  the 14th state
in the country to legalize marijuana use  for severely ill patients.

The bill, which Governor Lynch vetoed due to concerns  over the bill's
proposed plans for cultivation and  distribution of the drug, would
have allowed for the  creation of three to five "compassion centers"
that  would have distributed marijuana to qualifying  patients.

According to Executive Director of the New Hampshire  Coalition for
Common Sense Marijuana Policy Matt Simon,  who had been working
closely with patients to support  the override, supporters of the
override knew it would  be hard for it to pass in the Senate.

"We were confident we were going to win in the House,"  Simon said.
"But we also knew it would be a tall order  to get two senators to
change their minds... I had  hoped the senators would put politics
aside and do the  right thing, but in the end that didn't happen."

Simon also said that while the outcome of the vote was  not
necessarily surprising, for him and the medical  marijuana users he
worked with to support the override,  it was a huge

"I had to make several very difficult phone calls to  patients who had
been very hopeful," Simon said. "It  was very disappointing."

Still, Simon said it is impossible for him to look back  and not see
that progress on the issue of medical  marijuana was made.

"A lot of people really came around and learned a lot,"  Simon

Simon also said that he is certain that New Hampshire  will eventually
have a law legalizing the use of  medical marijuana.

"I am very confident that it will happen but just not  this year,"
Simon said. "We're going to continue  working until New Hampshire
allows medical marijuana." 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr