The New Hampshire Senate has snuffed a bill to allow people with debilitating or terminal illnesses to legally possess and use small amounts of marijuana to help ease the symptoms.
The Senate voted on Wednesday to delay action on the bill, which if passed would have legalized less than two ounces of cannabis for medical purposes. On March 16th members of the House of Representatives voted without debate in favor of HB 442 in a 221 to 96 vote.
The Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill two years ago, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed it. The House voted to pass the bill over Lynch's veto but it fell two votes short in the Senate.
House Bill 442 proposed to amend state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana for medical purposes.
The measure also allows for the establishment of up to three “alternative treatment centers” to dispense medical cannabis to qualified patients. Home cultivation is not explicitly authorized under the bill. Similar legislation passed both the House and the Senate in 2009, but was vetoed by Governor Lynch.
Sen. Ray White (R-Bedford) said the Senate does not plan to vote on the bill this year, leaving seriously ill patients in the state with no alternative except either suffering or buying off the streets.