Senate panel OKs medical pot bill UnionLeader / Ted Siefer / 3,22,2012 CONCORD -- A medical marijuana bill is headed for a vote in the Senate next week, after a committee unanimously voted to support the measure. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-0 on Thursday to recommend passage for Senate Bill 409. The vote signals strong momentum for the bill, since it's now being supported by two senators who had opposed an earlier version of the measure, including Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro. The bill would allow people with doctor-certified debilitating medical conditions to possess six ounces of marijuana. Alternately, they could have up to six marijuana plants or plants occupying up to 100 square feet, whichever is less. A designated caregiver could also grow the marijuana for the patient. Medical marijuana users would be required to have identification cards issued through the state department of Health and Human Services. The bill was crafted with input from the Attorney General's Office and law enforcement. After consulting with HHS and other officials since the bill was introduced, the bill's main sponsor, Sen. Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford, filed an amendment to the bill to address funding concerns. The amendment calls for the I.D. card program to be largely self-funded through patient fees, which Forsythe estimated would not exceed $200. Forsythe credited the support the bill is getting to testimony from patients who credited with marijuana were enabling to cope with crippling health conditions. â€œTo have a unanimous vote of the committee is a huge success,â€ Forsythe said, adding, â€œWe've still got a lot of work to do to win over the full Senate.â€ The bill will likely need a wide margin of support to become law. Similar legislation made it through the House and Senate in 2009, but was vetoed by Gov. John Lynch. The House overrode the veto but there weren't enough votes for an override in the Senate. Matt Simon, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group promoting reform marijuana laws, praised the committee vote. "The committee appears to understand that these laws are not causing problems in states such as Vermont and Maine, or surely we would hear about them here in New Hampshire,â€ he said in a statement. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.