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Mass. Gov. Patrick has renewed focus post-election

Associated Press Modified: November 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: November 12, 2012

Then there's the decision of Massachusetts voters to legalize medical marijuana.

The ballot question approved by voters requires Patrick's Department of Public Health, already criticized for a lack of oversight over the drug lab, to draft the new marijuana regulations. The state pharmacy board, under the auspices of DPH, has also come under scrutiny in the fungal meningitis outbreak.

Patrick said he's confident the DPH can draft the medical marijuana regulations.

Patrick has said his other priorities include expanding job growth in Massachusetts, investing in education and infrastructure projects and finalizing a transportation financing proposal.

"We're busy," he said.

Patrick put more than just his time to the service of Obama; he also put his fundraising muscle. Patrick's political action committee — formed to help pay for his campaigning for Obama and the national Democratic Party — raised nearly $1.4 million as of the end of September.

Among the donors were executives of health care organizations, financial firms, real estate companies and law firms. Many donated up to $5,000 to Patrick's Together PAC.

As for that White House dinner, Patrick characterized it as a chance to share tales from the campaign.

"It was fun. It was intimate. It was long. It was funny, a lot of stories about the campaign and also looking ahead," he said. "It was small, just 14 people. It was really nice."

Pressed for more details, Patrick described the menu.

"We had a salad to start. I think that we had kale from the White House garden. And we had steak," he said. "I don't remember the rest of it."

Patrick said for him, the recent election reinforced his view that people gravitate toward political figures with a strong core message.

"We saw and we see again that people want candidates with backbone, who actually stand for something," he said. "I emphasize the 'for something' rather than just 'against something' or 'against someone.'"