It came as no surprise when New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat serving his fourth and final term, vetoed SB 409 today. Gov. Lynch vetoed a similar bill in 2009, and he has avoided meeting with patients who hoped to educate him on the subject, so this veto was unfortunate but very much expected.
Despite the governor’s opposition, this bill has earned majority support in both parties and both chambers of the legislature. All eyes will now be on the House and Senate next Wednesday, June 27, when both chambers will vote on whether or not to override the veto.
Fortunately, Sen. Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford) has refused to give up. He published a powerful editorial this week in the Concord Monitor, and he is still working hard to convince his colleagues they should override the veto and pass SB 409 into law.
The Republican-dominated House has twice passed SB 409 by better than the two-thirds margin needed for an override. The Republican-dominated House passed SB 409 in a 236-96 vote on April 25, with 97% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans voting in favor.
In the Senate, which was composed of 19 Republicans and five Democrats this session, 10 Republican Senators have joined all five Democrats in supporting the bill.
Unfortunately, one Senate vote has been lost due to a supportive senator’s recent resignation, so the outpouring of public support for SB 409 will have to continue for the override effort to succeed. MPP, Sen. Forsythe, and our team of allies have worked hard to gain additional votes in the Senate, and the fate of seriously ill patients in New Hampshire will soon be decided.
The plea of patients and their family members is simple and profound: “Don’t let one man stand in the way!”
Published with special permission from the Marijuana Policy Project