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New Hampshire Poll Finds 74 Percent of Residents Approve of Legalization

74% of New Hampshire’s survey respondents support legalizing recreational marijuana, while 68% approve of specific legislation that would give the New Hampshire Liquor Commission control over regulating cannabis sales.

The University of New Hampshire published a recent Granite State Poll poll on February 25, 2015. Participants were also asked about their current position on legalization of cannabis. More than half of the residents support legalization.

Participants were asked to answer two polls about cannabis. The first asked participants to comment on a newly introduced bill legalizing cannabis, while the second asked what they would do if legalization were approved overall.

House Bill 1598 has been approved by the New Hampshire House of Representatives. It was passed on February 16th. Granite State Poll surveyed participants to find out if recreational cannabis should be legalized and if they would like to have statewide regulation of sales. “More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents are strongly (47 percent) or somewhat (21 percent) in support of this bill, 20 percent are somewhat (five percent) or strongly (15 percent) opposed to it, 11 percent are neutral, and two percent are unsure,” the poll states. A breakdown by political party shows that this bill is supported by 79 percent of Democrats and 68 percent among Independents. 56 percent Republicans also support it.

The legalization poll that was presented to determine the participants’ support or opposition of cannabis legalization also revealed strong support. “Support for legalizing marijuana generally in New Hampshire has increased dramatically in the past decade,” the poll stated. “In 2013, Granite Staters were split nearly evenly, with 49 percent in support of legalizing marijuana and 45 percent opposed. Today, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) support legalizing marijuana and only 15 percent are opposed.”

The gap between opposition and support was smaller in previous polls. It is apparent that the first difference was present sometime between 2014 to 2015 and shows a 59 per cent approval level and a 34 percent opposition. The results showed a slight rebound in 2015 and 2016, with 54% approval and 37% opposition. However, polls in the past few years have shown a substantial increase in New Hampshire’s cannabis support and interests.

To create the poll, data was taken from 1,081 Granite State Panel Member who filled out an online survey. The panel includes people with different genders, backgrounds, political opinions, and locations. Every individual was asked to respond to questions from February 18-22 2022. 7.500 New Hampshire residents were also contacted randomly through selected landlines and cell phones.

House Bill 1598 was the last time it was debated almost two weeks back. The floor vote on this bill resulted at 235-119. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Daryl Abbas, believes that the bill is “a compromise by many who favor recreational cannabis and many who like me that have traditionally opposed recreational cannabis. [It] creates a policy like no other state that works for and serves the people of New Hampshire,” Abbas said during the floor discussion. “The time for talking is over. It’s time for us together to take action and to deliver this.” The bill will have its next hearing on March 3, and will need to pass through both the House Finance Committee to reach the Senate for further consideration.

While recreational cannabis is still up in the air for New Hampshire, the state’s medical cannabis received an upgrade last year in May 2021 when Governor Sununu passed House Bill 89. This law is effective as of July 2021 and allows physicians to allow patients suffering from severe or moderate insomnia to be able to legally use medical marijuana.