by Phillip Smith
New Hampshire residents will remain without legal access to medical marijuana after an attempt to override a gubernatorial veto failed narrowly in the state Senate Wednesday. The Senate needed 16 votes to override Gov. John Lynch's (D) veto, but came up three short.
Since the Senate failed to get the necessary votes for an override, no vote was taken in the House. Two Democrats who had voted for the bill, Senate Bill 409, changed course and voted to uphold Lynch's veto, but even if they hadn't, the Senate would still have been one vote short because another "yes" voter, Sen. Andy Sanborn, had resigned so he could run for the Senate in another district.
This is the second medical marijuana veto for Gov. Lynch. He killed similar legislation back in 2009 and appears immune to efforts by legislators to find a medical marijuana bill he can live with.
"Gov. Lynch has chosen to bury his head in the sand on this issue, and once again he was able to get enough lawmakers to join him and deprive the people of New Hampshire of much-needed relief," said Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, which has been deeply involved in the effort. "We will continue working with lawmakers to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana free from the fear of arrest. We are hopeful that the new governor will be more reasonable."