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Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, for the second time since 2009, has vetoed a bill which would have provided safe access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in his state

Patients’ Hopes Now Rest With House and Senate
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch on Thursday followed through on his threat to veto SB 409, New Hampshire’s medical marijuana bill.  The bill will now return to the House and Senate for a final vote that will decide the bill’s fate.
Veto override votes are planned for June 27 in both the House and Senate.
The veto came as no surprise. Lynch vetoed similar legislation in 2009, after which the House voted by more than two-thirds to override the veto, but support in the Senate fell two votes short of the necessary two-thirds.
Senator Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford), prime sponsor of SB 409, vowed he would continue urging his colleagues to vote in favor so seriously ill patients can finally be protected from arrest if their doctors recommend medical marijuana.

Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz: “While this office does not intend to focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment program in compliance with state law, individuals and organizations who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, will be in violation of federal law and be subject to federal enforcement.”

Medical marijuana advocates in Massachusetts say they’ll take their cause to the ballot if the Legislature won’t pass it, but the usual objections are being raised by law enforcement officials, who say that legalizing medicine cannabis could put the state at odds with the federal government.

The Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana bill would protect registered patients, doctors, caregivers and dispensers from local and state marijuana laws, but not from the federal law enforcement like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If the Legislature rejects or fails to act on the measure by May 2, certified signatures of 11,485 Massachusetts voters are needed to place a binding question on November’s general election ballot.

Seriously ill patients don’t have to fear a knock on the door from gun-toting feds, according to White House and U.S. Department of Justice officials, but those same officials told the Boston Herald they won’t turn a blind eye to others who break federal laws, including doctors and state-licensed dispensaries, reports Laurel J. Sweet.

‚ÄčThe New Hampshire House has passed a bill — by the narrowest possible margin, 162-161 — to decriminalize possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana.

Republican Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien abstained from voting, allowing the bill to get through by one vote, reports Kevin Landrigan at the Nashua Telegraph. The bill, HB 1526, cleared the House after O’Brien announced he was letting the measure pass by not voting.
Under current New Hampshire law, anyone possessing a half ounce of marijuana can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This bill would make such possession a civil violation on the first offense, with a fine of up to $250, and a fine of $500 the second time it occurred.