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Gov. Lynch Vetoes Marijuana Law Reform Measure

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By Paul Armentano

In May I blogged under the headline “Want To Know Why Pot Is Illegal? Ask Your Governor” in response to Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty’s decision to veto legislation that would have granted terminally ill patients the legal option to possess and use (but not grow) medicinal cannabis. It wasn’t the first time I’d written such a post and it won’t be last.

Earlier this week I criticized Hawaii Republican Governor Linda Lingle for her refusal to approve legislation that merely sought to study “issues relating to medical cannabis patients and current medical cannabis laws.” Today we can add New Hampshire Democrat (just in case any of you out there are under the illusion that marijuana intolerance is not bipartisan) Gov. John Lynch to the list of public officials who single-handedly stand in the way of cannabis law reform.

Governor Lynch, as many expected, vetoed legislation that would have allowed qualified patients who had not responded to prescribed medications to possess and use (but not grow) medicinal cannabis. Lawmakers added the controversial, last-minute restrictions to the bill in an effort to gain the Governor’s support. Yet despite their best efforts, Gov. Lynch insisted upon placing political ideology before the health and welfare of his constituents.

For those keeping score at home, Governor Lynch’s veto (which state lawmakers will attempt to override) marks the fourth time this year that a state governor has rejected a marijuana law reform measure. And why did Gov. Lynch take the action he did? I’ll let him explain:

“I recognize that the sponsors of this legislation, and the members of the conference committee, worked hard to attempt to address the concerns raised about this legislation. … However, after consulting with representatives of the appropriate state agencies and law enforcement officials, I believe this legislation still has too many defects to move forward.”

To translate: Cops and my Attorney General hate the notion of anyone — even the terminally ill — possessing the option to use cannabis legally under state law, and I will continue to kowtow to these special interests even if it means my constituents will have to suffer because of my ignorant and callous decision.

Like I said before: Want To Know Why Pot Is Illegal? Ask Your Governor.


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