State Senators rejected a pair of House-backed bills late last week that sought to legalize adult-use marijuana possession, cultivation, and retail sales.
House Bill 1598 permitted the state’s liquor commission “to regulate and administer the cultivation, manufacture, testing, and retail sale of cannabis” via state-run stores. House members approved the measure by a vote of 235 to 119, but it was later determined to be “inexpedient to legislate” by members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It was ultimately defeated by the full Senate on a voice vote.
Senators also rejected House Bill 629, which eliminated civil fines for minor marijuana possession and legalized the limited home cultivation of cannabis. House members had passed the bill by a vote of 241 to 113, but members of the Senate decided 15 to 9 against the measure.
“The majority of the New Hampshire Senate is clearly out of step with the will of the voters,” said NORML’s State Policies Manager Jax James. Statewide polling data from February shows that 68 percent of New Hampshire adults support “legalizing [the] possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use.”
James added, “New Hampshire remains an island unto itself in the northeast. The continued failure by the Senate to advance House-passed cannabis reform legislation should not go without response from voters.”
New Hampshire residents who wish to contact the 15 Senate members who cast ‘no’ votes on HB 629 can do so using NORML’s action alert here.