New Hampshire House Will Vote To Legalize Recreational Weed
New Hampshire is about to take a big step towards marijuana legalization. State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow for the possession and home cultivation of cannabis. Whilst legalization is far from a reality at this point, the state is well on its way to voting on the bill.
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What does the bill entail?
The bill introduced by lawmakers in New Hampshire proposes to legalize possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of herbaceous cannabis. In addition to this, it allows private, in-home cultivation three mature plants and three immature plants. As far as legalization measures go, New Hampshire's is admittedly limited, however, it is an important milestone for the state. It is necessary to note that the bill does not legalize cannabis commerce, that is, the buying and selling of marijuana. If the bill passes, you would be able to grow your own weed but not buy it from or sell it to anyone else.
The bill also does not entail any kind of framework for selling and taxing marijuana as cannabis commerce is prohibited. This will likely help the bill move forward faster if it is approved.
Why is New Hampshire legalizing?
New Hampshire's surrounding states, Massachusets and Maine have both legalized the recreational use of marijuana in recent years. New Hampshire is concerned about being left behind as other states begin to follow suit. Following Jeff Sessions' recent announcement that he is rescinding the Obama-era policy that let legal weed flourish, lawmakers in Vermont fought back and voted to make recreational use legal. If New Hampshire doesn't keep up, it's set to be surrounded by legal states in the coming years.
A commission was appointed last year to study the financial impact of legal weed should it be legalized within the state. There are concerns from The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committees regarding the impending vote, as they would prefer the study to conclude before the state votes.
The bill has to make its way through the House Ways and Means Committee before it can be voted upon. A similar bill in 2015 never made its way past this point. With mounting outside influence to legalize marijuana, it seems there is a better chance of the bill moving forward this time and while New Hampshire still has a way to go, it's promising that lawmakers are persistent and motivated in passing the law.