House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill
Recently, the House of Representatives passed a medical marijuana bill with a 236-96 vote in their favor. They still face an uphill battle in the Senate, however in order to defeat the promised veto from Governor John Lynch.
According to the Union Leader, this support margin is sufficient to conquer the gubernatorial veto. Recently, the Senate tried to pass the bill and was three-fifths short of the majority needed for overriding it.
This House vote may be a possible replay like the last time Legislature considered the medical marijuana bill and it was vetoed in 2009 by Lynch. The House overrode the veto but then the Senate ended up being three votes shy of what they needed.
Senator Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford is the prime sponsor of this latest legislation and said he is not going to give up.
Forsythe said Republicans have gone from having just one vote in support of the bill just a few years back to now having 8 Senate Republicans favoring it and he believes three more votes are quite possible.
They are working hard to achieve that goal in the next several weeks, he added. The bill has undergone several changes in order to address concerns that were expressed by those in law enforcement and others who believe it would lead to a wider use of the drug with the general population.
One of the core features of the bill is that it will allow patients, or their designated caregiver, to grow their own marijuana. The bill lets the patient or registered caregiver possess no more than 6 ounces of the substance and they may cultivate four plants in a locked and secured location that is known to law enforcement.
The 10 page bill has a list of medical conditions in which a physician may prescribe marijuana and they include HIV, glaucoma and cancers.