The gears of government everywhere turn slowly, but in New Hampshire, at least they are turning on the issue of cannabis freedom. The state passed a medical cannabis law back in 2012 (though it still needs improving and the dispensaries have yet to open). The state representatives have voted to decriminalize and even to legalize cannabis, but the efforts have been blocked in the senate in close votes.
Overall, New Hampshire is behind the ball on decriminalizing cannabis. All the surrounding states have had significant decrim on cannabis possession, in Maine’s case, since the 70s! Vermont and Massachusetts in recent years dramatically decriminalized possession of up to an ounce. In Mass’ case the penalty is down to an unenforceable fine.
The current situation in New Hampshire is that a decrim bill will be heard this year, and on Tuesday morning the criminal justice house committee heard a bill that would merely create a study committee on legalizing cannabis. However, the hearing went on for nearly two hours, with the supermajority of speakers favoring the study committee. Only two people, one lady from “New Futures”, an apparently prohibitionist group, and a state cop were the ones arguing against the state reps learning about legalization.
Several people spoke in favor of the study committee, including state reps, Cheshire Jail superintendent Rick Van Wickler, the NHCLU’s director, medical cannabis users, and more. The criminal justice committee will vote on the bill in executive session where it will then be sent to the full house.
Here’s full video of the hearing, thanks to Biker Bill: