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Legalization Bill Moves Ahead in New Hampshire

A invoice that may legalize leisure hashish in New Hampshire gained approval within the state’s Home of Representatives in a troublesome vote final week.

The Home voted 169-156 on Thursday to “to approve a invoice that may enable for the sale of hashish at state-run liquor shops,” in keeping with native tv station WCAX, which famous that the invoice would legalize solely hashish flower and never edibles.

The invoice now joins a separate piece of hashish reform laws within the state Senate, the place the urge for food for legalization will not be as nice as it’s within the Home. Republicans management each chambers of the Granite State’s legislature, however as New Hampshire Public Radio famous, no legalization invoice has ever handed the state Senate.

Leaders there say that any bid to finish pot prohibition on this session will doubtless face stiff headwinds.

“I believe the Senate has at all times opposed legalizing marijuana and I believe that’s nonetheless the identical proper now,” state Senate President Chuck Morse informed New Hampshire Public Radio. “I believe there’s a idea right here that folks wish to attempt to perceive.”

Including one other wrinkle to the political dynamics is the state’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu.

Sununu has expressed his opposition to legalization up to now, however he made feedback final month that signaled a potential shift. And final yr, Sununu signed a invoice that broadened qualifying situations for medical hashish therapy within the state.

Addressing the New England Council final month, “Sununu gave an informal response to a query the place, for the primary time publicly, he considerably softened his stance, particularly because it pertains to a particular invoice being debated within the legislature,” the Boston Globe reported.

“I believe it’s going to in the end occur in New Hampshire, it could possibly be inevitable,” Sununu stated, as quoted by the Globe, though he insisted he’s “not pro-legalization.”

And with regard to the invoice that handed the New Hampshire state Home final week, Sununu stated this: “In case you are ever going to do it, do this invoice. Is now the fitting time? I’m not positive but.”

However earlier than the invoice even makes it to the governor’s desk, it should clear the state Senate, the place even the highest Democrat has some considerations with the laws.

That lawmaker, state Sen. Donna Soucy, informed New Hampshire Public Radio that the invoice’s “core idea — permitting the liquor fee to promote marijuana — is an issue.”

“Whether or not the state needs to be within the enterprise of marijuana is one thing quite a lot of us have hesitancy about,” Soucy stated, as quoted by the outlet.

A ballot launched final month discovered that an enormous majority of New Hampshire voters (68%) help the legalization invoice that may authorize the liquor fee to control hashish. 

It isn’t the one hashish reform invoice that can go earlier than the state Senate although. One other proposal that gained approval within the state Home would legalize house cultivation and private possession of hashish, however wouldn’t authorize gross sales.

As detailed within the invoice’s evaluation, the measure would “[permit] adults to own as much as 3/4 of an oz of hashish, 5 grams of cannabis, and sure cannabis-infused merchandise; permits adults to domesticate as much as 6 hashish vegetation at house in a safe location that’s not seen from different properties, and to own and course of the hashish produced from their vegetation on the similar location; permits adults to provide hashish to different adults, supplied it’s not greater than 3/4 of an oz of hashish, 5 grams of cannabis, or as much as 300 mg of cannabis-infused merchandise, or 3 immature vegetation; gives that smoking or vaporizing hashish in public by an grownup could be punishable by a $100 advantageous; gives that violations of the restrictions on cultivation could be a violation punishable by advantageous of as much as $750; penalizes harmful, unstable extraction; and permits adults to own, make, and promote hashish equipment to different adults.”