New Hampshire House to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Wednesday

New Hampshire House to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Wednesday

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire’s House will vote Wednesday 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 among the first issues to be debated when the legislature reconvenes for 2014.

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.

  • Northern_Lights

    Politicians need to pull their heads from the sand… the majority of public and the younger generations are fed up with the propaganda that had been preached to us by our own government… and also tired of making criminals out of ordinary citizens, neighbors, and family members.

  • Fairuse

    Unfortunately, NH the “Live Free or Die” State is an old guard police state. One of the most influential and powerful forces in NH is the chief of police of one of the smallest rural towns in the state. Richard A. Crate in Enfield has been elevated to the top figure of the vanguard of prohibition and windfall federal interdiction dollars in the state. He is a self aggrandized leader who uses his cult of personality to continue his crusade against any movement on cannabis laws. He and his cronies will tear this bill down or outwardly revolt IF it passes.

  • malcolmkyle

    The French are bragging that they have an antidote to marijuana. It’s called Pregnenolone.

    Common side effects of Pregnenolone are over-stimulation and insomnia.

    Anger, anxiety and irritability have also been reported.

    Headaches might also occur with higher doses.

    Acne and Scalp hair loss can also occur if the hormone is used daily for a prolonged amount of time.

    There is a more dangerous side effect of pregnenolone that should be given consideration if you are contemplating the usage of it: heart palpitations. According to Ray Sahelian, pregnenolone has been known to cause irregular heart rhythms, even with low doses.

    The American Cancer Society also reports that pregnenolone has been known to cause liver problems. It is also suggested that the growth of hormone-responsive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer may occur as a result of the use of pregnenolone.

    • Duncan20903

      A small price for other people to pay for a “drug” “free” society, wouldn’t everyone agree? :D

  • jim renfrew

    been smoking for 45

  • So Mile High

    $30 an ounce must be a typo…

    • thedailychronic

      It is a tax rate of $30 per ounce, not a retail cost of $30 per ounce.

      • So Mile High

        AHH thank you!

  • Bob_Robert

    How many more people must die, both police and “citizens”, before the public has had enough and VOTES OUT the politicians who want this war.

  • Michael Devaney

    drink and drive, smoke butts get cancer.. those are cool.. but smoking pot that does NOTHING is wrong lol. This country and this state is a fail.

  • Rik Van Riel

    The war on marijuana has done much more damage than the drug itself. The drug gangs do a lot of damage, but legalization will put them out of business. Legalization would also mean most marijuana users will never meet a drug dealer, which will deprive the dealers of potential customers for their other (actually dangerous) drugs. Law enforcement and judicial resources could be targeted to address things that are actually harm people.

    I cannot stand the smell of marijuana, but public smoking laws already take care of that problem, by forcing the smokers to go stand somewhere they don’t bother others too much.

  • NYCpot826

    I think the opposition of the legalization movement have to stop talking about the Federal vs. State issue. The feds did say they wouldn’t interfere with the states laws anymore.

    • Katie Stevens

      They are grasping at straws. They know the tide has turned against them and they have no legitimate arguments to counter the many in favor of legalization.

    • EmperorAbby

      The Federal law still creates problems for marijuana businesses with getting loans and filing federal taxes. While I applaud the administration’s soft decision to leave states to regulate themselves in this matter (and it might be the best way to prove the wisdom of this change while avoiding showdown with anti-marijuana hardliners), I’m not sure how these folks will pay their federal taxes. It has already been shown that these businesses are by and large not able to claim valid business expense deductions although they are doing everything right. I hope sanity will prevail before too many years pass.

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  • TrueJustice

    Harvard Medical school did controlled tests on lab rats with cancer. Some were cured completely 90% cure rate zero deaths and all tumors were reduced or completely gone. Compare that with Chemo, a 90% death rate. Glycoma blindness is cured and reversed with no surgery needed. Recent studies show proof of those with diabetes after use had more control and far fewer glucose problems. Most diabetics would benefit tremendously. Now add cost savings from courts, prisons as well as collected and saved taxes. I hope those reps who vote to legalize see this. Or will it be as usual the Fool soon parted of money. Legalize for the benefit of all including non users.

  • Pogs

    I would just like to say that New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die”. By submitting to federal authority, you are committing treason against the state. No one should really care if its legal or not.

  • Knowledgeable Source

    Please everyone just watch “The Union”. You will know everything you need to know about marijuana and its properties as well as the so called “Health Risks” that everyone is so worried about. Do your own research on it from an unbiased standpoint and form an educated decision based on the actual facts and stop being a sheep following what the media and the government tell you to do just because they tell you to do it. Society needs a wake up call and its sad to see that so many people blindly obey even when in most cases they have negligible knowledge of the facts to form an educated opinion. Legalize it and we will see an exponential growth as a community as well as a decrease in criminal activity. Just like in Cigarettes and Alcohol it would be easily regulated and taxed to bring in jobs and wages to NH. Colorado has the right idea, is their state falling apart and being over run by criminal activity via drug related violence due to marijuana? I think not everyone. Make the right choice America, legalize it and lets be done with the animosity and put our great country on the right track to becoming a better society as a whole.

  • MikeParent

    Does anyone honestly believe that wasting $20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for choosing a substance Scientifically proven to be safer than what the govt allows, is a sound policy?