New Hampshire approves marijuana bill

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A key marijuana bill survives a House committee vote

Marijuana legalization could be coming soon to New Hampshire. A House committee has approved the bill – just barely – and the legislation could survive even if New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu decides to reject it.

The legislation allows adults 21 years old or older to possess and purchase as much as one ounce of cannabis. They would also be allowed to grow up to six plants, of which three could be mature. The bill was heard and voted on by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which approved it by a narrow 10-9 margin.

Matt, Simon, the political director for the New England branch of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), said of the vote, “We applaud the committee for recognizing that marijuana prohibition is an outdated and increasingly unpopular policy that has failed to accomplish its public health and safety objectives. It’s time for New Hampshire to adopt a more sensible system in which cannabis is legal for adults 21 and older and regulated in order to protect consumers and the public.”

He added, “We are very pleased that the committee tasked with overseeing criminal justice and public safety has recommended the passage of this legislation. Passage of this bill would be terrible news for illicit drug dealers and good news for proponents of smarter, more effective drug policies.”

New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff isn’t concerned about the bill reaching the governor’s desk. Sununu has already said that he opposes marijuana legalization and could potentially refuse the bill, but Shurtleff is confident that there are enough votes in the House, and possibly in the Senate, to override any Sununu veto.


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