CONCORD, NH — In yet another powerful affirmation that support for medical marijuana transcends partisan boundaries, the Republican-dominated New Hampshire House voted 236-96 today to pass SB 409.
Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, praised the House for ignoring Gov. Lynch’s veto threat, which was renewed the day before the vote, and passing the bill with a veto-proof supermajority. “Gov. Lynch has repeatedly shown he is way out of touch on this issue, and since he has been unwilling to support a responsible medical marijuana law for New Hampshire’s most seriously ill patients, the House and Senate will simply have to get this done without the governor’s support.”
The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen.Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford), agreed. “The promise to veto medical marijuana by Gov. Lynch shows a disappointing lack of compassion for patients battling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS,” he said.
The bill is expected to be referred to a second House committee for further consideration before returning to the Senate for a concurrence vote. The Senate passed SB 409 March 28 in a 13-11 vote, so support from three additional senators will be necessary to override the expected veto.
Sen. Forsythe expressed optimism after the House vote. “We’ve gone from having one Senate Republican in support of this issue a few years ago to now having at least eight Senate Republicans,” he observed. “With this kind of momentum behind SB 409, I believe three additional Senate votes are very possible, and it’s a goal we’ll be working very hard to achieve in the coming weeks.”