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New Hampshire: Study Commission Proposed To Recommend a Marijuana Legalization Strategy

Update: A hearing for HB 215 is being held on Tuesday 4/11 at 11:00 AM.

Update: HB 215 passed the House on Thursday, March 8 on a voice vote. It will now be referred to the Senate.

Update: Members of the House Ways and Means Committee passed HB 215 by a vote of 18-1.

Legislation is pending in the New Hampshire House, HB 215, to establish a commission to study the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.

Police in New Hampshire arrest some 2,900 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire adults, 62 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 WMUR Granite State Poll.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans' consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis' personal use by adults and licensing its production.

In addition to the legislation in the House, Senator Jeff Woodburn announced his plans to introduce a bill that includes a firm date to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in New Hampshire. Although a legalization bill has passed through the House in the past, the Senate has met stiff resistance and Woodburn’s powerful backing of a bill is a boost that New Hampshire will join the states who are already benefiting from legalization.

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