New Hampshire House to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Bill

New Hampshire House to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Bill

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire’s House will vote early this year on whether to legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older.  The floor vote on House Bill 492 is scheduled for January 8.

Supporters propose taxing marijuana when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce and letting people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment.

State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican supporting the bill, says the legislation is modeled after one approved by Colorado voters last year and is similar to one Washington voters passed.

“Nothing in the bill would allow anyone to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other substance. By legalizing, regulating and taxing (marijuana), society would in effect be taking the profit away from illegal operations which truly harm society,” he wrote fellow representatives in support of the bill.

Vaillancourt said taxing marijuana would produce millions of dollars in tax revenue. He noted that the bill would not be effective until July 1 to provide time to implement it properly.

Opponents argue marijuana is bad for people’s health and would be difficult to regulate.

Criminal Justice and Public Safety Chairwoman Laura Pantelakos also noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

“If New Hampshire were to legalize and regulate marijuana, it would create an unclear picture of the state versus federal law enforcement, particularly since the (Department of Justice) has stated it will rely on states that legalize to strictly enforce and regulate marijuana,” Pantelakos said in a report to the House. She said that could shift regulatory costs onto the state.

Lawmakers have considered but rejected decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in the past, most recently last session.

But decriminalization supporters were encouraged when the state — with Gov. Maggie Hassan‘s limited backing — made it legal for the seriously ill to possess and use the drug earlier this year. Implementing the state’s medical marijuana law is expected to take a year.

If the bill passes the House, it faces a doubtful future. The Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter ounce of marijuana last year, and Gov. Hassan opposes decriminalization.

  • wowFAD

    Just so we’re all on the same page — NH is about to actually take a vote in their state house for full legalization, but that’s not nearly as important as the four different stories about CO’s legal sales starting today that *did* make it to the top of the front page.
    Whoever is responsible for organizing the stories on the homepage should be fired.

    • Shane Fowler

      yes for up to one ounce or 6 plants. just because there is a vote doesn’t mean it will come out the way we want.

  • Brian Kelly B Bizzle

    In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are stoners and dopers that need to be incarcerated to protect society.

    In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their god given duty to worry about saving us all from the evils of marijuana use.

    Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of a glass of wine for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

    People who use marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

    Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make us out to be. We are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

    Several Presidents of The United States themselves and Justin Trudeau have confessed to their marijuana use , as have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

    Although, that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

    To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, glorifies, and advertises alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

    There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day, than having a glass a wine.

    So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

    We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

    Has a marijuana user ever tried to force you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force us not to either.

    Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon all of us with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think your such prohibitionist hypocrites.

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

  • Scott

    Gov.Maggie Hassan has 2 faces and her lies and corrupt management of New Hampshire has been centered around Casinos and putting a budget to build a womens prison with $230 million of the tax payers money ! The people got stiffed to what she said she would do !! #1 Now taxing Weed could protect our pensions and healthcare for our Government workers such as firemen and police to town fathers and then our Youth development centers to help with the training so these youths go down the right path . #2 then to Schools that are under funded and help Teachers educate and be able to earn a living the same as any other teacher does no matter what grants the school has ! #3 Clean Water in every stream or body of water in our State !

    • Shane Fowler

      its all a big joke to see what they can get away with to make their buddies rich.

  • Shane Fowler

    It’s fine if we shift the regulatory cost to the states because the federal government just puts us further in debt each year.

  • Shane Fowler

    People are tired of letting a central body of government control every aspect of their lives.

  • Belmont12

    I am a proud Granite Stater myself- I can’t understand how the senate or Hassan would be against this! we live in the freakin’ Live Free or Die state! If you don’t believe that then you should live in another state…