Concord, NH — PRESS RELEASE — On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved a bill (236-112) that would legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire—similar to Vermont’s legalization law. H.B. 1648 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Sponsored by Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom) and a bipartisan group of seven cosponsors, H.B. 1648 would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis, five grams of hashish and up to 300 mg of cannabis-infused products (currently a violation punishable by a civil fine). It would also permit cultivation of up to six plants (including up to three mature ones) at home in a secure location that is not visible from other properties. A summary of H.B. 1648 is available here.
The “Live Free or Die” State is currently surrounded by jurisdictions where cannabis is legal for adult use. If H.B. 1648 passes, New Hampshire will join the 11 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have replaced the failed policy of prohibition with sensible and responsible legalization laws.
Public opinion has shifted strongly in favor of legalizing cannabis. Two consecutive polls published by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that 68% of Granite Staters support legalization, demonstrating that legalization is more popular than any elected official in the state.
Matt Simon, New England political director at the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Granite Staters overwhelmingly support making cannabis legal for adults’ use, and it’s encouraging to see that a strong majority of the House agrees. Now it’s time for Gov. Chris Sununu and the Senate to recognize that New Hampshire should not be an island of prohibition. Cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and there is no good reason for the state to continue punishing adults who choose the safer substance.”