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Governor Stubs Medical Marijuana Law

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Gov. John Lynch has made no secret of his opposition to medical marijuana in the state. He says Senate Bill 409 poses health dangers to patients, lacks oversight and could lead to more pot in the hands of minors.

The governor vetoed a similar measure in 2009.

This version allows for patients with a doctor’s prescription to legally possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Medicinal use would only be granted to people with debilitating conditions or terminal diseases.

Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project says the governor hasn’t been receptive from the start.

"Patients and their family members who have advocated for this bill are upset about the veto, but they’re not surprised," says Simon. "They’ve been trying to get Governor Lynch to meet with them, and trying to get him to understand their perspective on this for years, and he hasn’t been willing to listen."

The bill has wide support in the House. But getting the needed two-thirds vote to override a veto in the Senate remains in question. 

The upper chamber will take up the measure next Wednesday.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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