A bill to legalize the personal use, cultivation and gifting of marijuana in New Hampshire is one step closer to becoming law. The state House of Representatives on Thursday approved the legislation on a 236-112 vote, advancing the measure to the Senate.
The proposal would not legalize commercial production or sales of cannabis. Instead, adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow a limited number of plants at home and legally give up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana to other adults. The measure resembles neighboring Vermont’s 2018 cannabis law, which legalized low-level possession and home cultivation but does not allow for sales.
Legalization is tremendously popular in the famously independent state, as one lawmaker acknowledged before a House committee voted last month to advance the bill to the floor.
“I think that the legalization of cannabis is more popular than the legislature itself or the governor or any other political entity in the state of New Hampshire,” House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Chairman Renny Cushing (D) said. “This is something that the people of the state of New Hampshire want. They don’t want to be treated like they’re criminals if they have a plant.”
A full tax-and-regulate marijuana legalization bill was passed by the House last year. But after receiving a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, it ultimately stalled and died in the chamber. Advocates believe the new scaled-down approach has a better shot of being enacted.
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