With a solid veto-proof margin, the New Hampshire house of representatives overwhelmingly passed cannabis decriminalization today, 297-67, according to state rep Kyle Tasker. That’s a significant increase over 2014’s 215-92 vote on decrim. 297 votes is 38% higher than last year’s 215. A total of 74.25% of the house’s 400 members voted for the bill and 16.75% voted against. That leaves 9% who did not vote. Of those who voted, over 81% voted in favor of decrim.
If this isn’t a mandate, I don’t know what is. Now the bill moves on to the senate, where it died last time. However, it’s a new senate and a new year. With evidence of cannabis legalization’s success mounting, and now even Washington DC legalizing, politicians in NH are finding a little backbone. Sadly, they are late to the party – the other New England states have decriminalized cannabis, some more recently, but Maine as far back as the 1970s.
Maybe the overwhelming support for decrim in this house vote will transfer to the senate, or maybe not. If it passes the senate, unless governor Maggie Hassan finds her conscience, they’ll have to pass this with a 2/3rds veto-proof margin in order to stop Hassan from striking this much-needed legislation down.
In related news, last week the state house voted to add more conditions to the medical cannabis statutes. That also now goes to the senate.