CONCORD — New Hampshire lawmakers considering whether to legalize recreational marijuana heard Tuesday from supporters arguing such a move is long overdue and opponents urging them to resist pressure from surrounding states.
Ten states have legalized recreational marijuana—including the three bordering New Hampshire—while New York, New Jersey and others are considering it this year. Past efforts have failed in New Hampshire, but Democrats, who added legalization to their party platform last year, now control both the House and Senate. And the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, pointed to movement in other states as a reason his bill should pass.
“I think we’re in an entirely different political climate right now than we have been in the past,” Cushing, D-Hampton, said at a news conference ahead of a public hearing on his bill. “There’s a reality we can’t ignore. I think you’re going to see people who will be interested in this new emerging market, this new emerging product, that ultimately is going to be beneficial for the state’s coffers and for the business climate in New Hampshire.”