The Republican-led New Hampshire House on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana.

The House voted 236-96 to approve SB 409. The Senate passed the bill by a 13-11 vote in March.

Democratic Gov. John Lynch has threatened to veto the legislation, which would allow patients with a written certification from their doctor to cultivate up to six ounces of marijuana.

“I’ve never used marijuana in my life,” Republican state Sen. Jim Forsythe, the bill's sponsor, explained in a statement. “But as a matter of principle, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for government to interfere with choices that should be made between a doctor and a patient.”

“The promise to veto medical marijuana by Gov. Lynch shows a disappointing lack of compassion for patients battling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS,” he added.

The bill will return to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before heading to the governor's desk.

Only patients with serious chronic or terminal diseases, such as cancer, AIDS and Parkinson's, would be eligible to possess marijuana.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons licensed]