New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill; A Handful of Additional Votes Needed to Override

The House passed the bill 234-138 and the Senate passed it 14-10. If my calculations are correct, that means a successful override needs 14 more votes in the House and 2 more in the Senate. If an override effort is made, it will happen when the legislature returns in September. Until then, it's time to let those legislators know what they need to do. Here is Gov. Lynch's veto message press release in its entirety:
Gov. Lynch’s Veto Message Regarding HB 648 By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on July 10, 2009, I vetoed HB 648-FN, an act relative to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. I have tremendous compassion for people who believe medical marijuana will help alleviate the symptoms of serious illnesses and the side effects of medical treatment. Although opinion of the medical community on the efficacy of medical marijuana remains mixed, I have been open, and remain open, to allowing tightly controlled usage of marijuana for appropriate medical purposes. But in making laws it is not enough to have an idea worthy of consideration, the details of the legislation must also be right. I recognize that the sponsors of this legislation, and the members of the conference committee, worked hard to attempt to address the concerns raised about this legislation. However, after consulting with representatives of the appropriate state agencies and law enforcement officials, I believe this legislation still has too many defects to move forward. Law enforcement officials have raised legitimate public safety concerns regarding the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. These concerns have not been adequately addressed in this bill. Marijuana is an addictive drug that has the potential to pose significant health dangers to its users, and it remains the most widely abused illegal drug in this State. I am concerned about the quantities of the drug made available to patients and caregivers under this bill, particularly because there are different types of marijuana and the potency of marijuana can vary greatly depending on how it is cultivated. I am troubled by the potential for unauthorized redistribution of marijuana from compassion centers. In addition to patients and designated caregivers, an unlimited number of “volunteers” can receive registry cards and receive the full protections afforded under this legislation to authorized cardholders. The provisions made for law enforcement to check on the status of an individual who asserts protection under the proposed law are too narrow. There are also many inconsistencies and structural problems in the legislation that would greatly complicate its administration and would pose barriers to controls aimed at preventing the unauthorized use of marijuana. The bill does not clearly restrict the use of marijuana to those persons who are suffering severe pain, seizures or nausea as a result of a qualifying medical condition. The bill requires compassion centers to hold a license to cultivate and distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes, but the bill does not contain clear provisions regarding a licensing process or standards. Compassion centers can be penalized for distributing amounts of marijuana that exceed permissible limitations, without the compassion centers having the means to know how much marijuana the patient already possesses. Caregivers in some instances are required to control the dosage of marijuana without any real means to accomplish this task. The bill leaves unclear the authority of a landlord to control the use of marijuana on rented property and in common areas of property. While the bill contemplates self-funding, there have been inadequate fiscal studies. The Department of Health and Human Services’ administrative responsibilities are of such a magnitude under this legislation that the fees potentially would be so great as to deny access to anyone but the wealthiest of our citizens, resulting in potential inequities. I understand and empathize with the advocates for allowing medical marijuana use in New Hampshire. However, the fact remains that marijuana use for any purpose remains illegal under federal law. Therefore, if we are to allow its use in New Hampshire for medical purposes, we must ensure that we are implementing the right policy. We cannot set a lower bar for medical marijuana than we do for other controlled substances, and we cannot implement a law that still has serious flaws. Therefore, I am regretfully vetoing HB 648-FN.
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Lynch and Lingle cant Smell the Trees for the Forest

Another Lame Duck in the death throws of late term politcal office unable to stop pandering and glad handing. Reason and openess will garner more popularity and support for future endeavors than towing the line of failed policy and shurking public sentiment.

Governor Lynch Must Have All Ducks in a Row

Much state legislation gets amended after it’s introduced to eliminate minor problems that show up later.  There’s no reason to stall this legislation simply because it may need tweaking later on.  Which makes me wonder how Gov. Lynch ever gets any governing done in New Hampshire.  Is he always like this?

Were his honorable governor to confer with his conscious on this critical issue, he might find a better source for drug information than those who benefit most from drug prohibition:  law enforcement.

And if Gov. Lynch thinks he is getting political capital out of this latest prohib decision, he needs to consider how his act plays outside NH.  Medical marijuana is a bipartisan issue.  He may not know it yet, but he’s just defined his entire political career as someone who denies the best medical treatment to those who need it the most.


This is a big decision that

This is a big decision that everyone needs to take a look at. We need to make smart choices for or children and ourselves.


Oh, please! What a pompous ass! God forbid that laws be enacted with serious flaws that might actually protect someone! And, you know how the word "legalization" isn't in the drug czar's dictionary? Apparently, "compassion" is missing from Lynch's. No way he could use that word in a speech like this. Not with a straight face.

There are, I'm sure, many words to describe single-minded concern for one's career at the expense of other people's lives, but compassion isn't one of them.

Lynch is so worried about possible misuse of med marijuana

and so blind to the far greater here and now dangers of alcohol. When's the last time cannabis killed someone in NH? Why isn't he worried about the drug that keeps killing people? Just imagine what he and his police allies would thunder about marijuana if it was as dangerous as alcohol!

If they're going to

If they're going to override, then they should fix the bill.

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