New Hampshire: House Votes To Legalize Marijuana

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New Hampshire: House Votes To Legalize Marijuana

In the state of New Hampshire, the House of Representatives has voted in favour of legalising marijuana for recreational use. This is the first time a state legislative chamber gives green light.

In the state of New Hampshire, the House of Representatives has voted in favour of legalising marijuana for recreational use. This is the first time a state legislative chamber gives green light.

While Colorado and Washington have already legalised the use of recreational cannabis, they did so through referendum - meaning the public voted on it. What makes this news in New Hampshire so significant, is that it was done through a vote in the House of Representatives, making it the first legislative body within US history to vote in favour of cannabis legalisation.

Cannabis under the new law

The vote passed on Wednesday the 15th of January, by a vote of 170 to 162. The Bill, H.B. 492 must now go onto the New Hampshire Senate for approval followed by the Governor of the state.

If the bill is passed it would be legal for anyone above the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of cannabis. It would also allow anyone over this age to grow up to 6 cannabis plants for personal use. Under the law, special, licensed facilities would cultivate cannabis, which would then be sold onto approved dispensaries. The legal sale of marijuana through these dispensaries would raise $30 in tax per ounce sold.

Governor to veto the bill?

Possibly, the bill may not be getting much further, with it being expected to meet a frosty reception in the Senate. The New Hampshire state Senate has a conservative record when it comes to marijuana, they have already rejected bills decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana 4 times over the last 5 years. But should the bill defy the odds, Governor Maggie Hassan has already made it public that she will veto the bill, stating that its sends a wrong message to the state’s youth.

It‘s sure not a bright future for the bill, but the fact that it has been approved by the first wrung of lawmakers within the state still bodes well in the grander scheme of things. An opinion poll released in October by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that 60 percent of the State’s residents were in favour of the bill, indicating that it is what the public wants. Although the bill may fail this time around, the mounting pressure and support from the public for cannabis will likely cause law makers and politicians to agree to the reform sooner or later.