Concord, NH: Members of the state Senate on Wednesday failed to override Governor John Lynch's veto of Senate Bill 409, which sought to allow qualified patients to possess and cultivate cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Senators voted 13 to 10 to override the Governor's veto. However, 16 total 'yes' votes were necessary to achieve the two-thirds Senate majority necessary to enact SB 409 into law.
Although House members had overwhelmingly backed SB 409 during this year's legislative session, Senate support was more evenly split, with Senators having voted 13 to 9 last week in favor of the bill. Two Democratic Senators, Lou D'Allesandro and Sylvia Larsen, on Wednesday reversed their previous 'yes' votes, siding with Gov. Lynch, who is also a Democrat.
In 2009, Gov. Lynch vetoed a far more restrictive medicinal cannabis measure. Senators that year also fell just short of the votes necessary to override him.
Governor Lynch announced earlier this year that he will not seek re-election in 2012.
To date, 17 states - including four in New England: Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont - have enacted laws that allow for the limited use of cannabis with a physician's recommendation.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.