And the Colorado Effect Claims Another One!
In a landmark move, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives voted in favor of legalizing marijuana outright and regulating the plant like alcohol. The bill, if approved by the Senate and state Governor, would make New Hampshire the third legal weed state in America and be extremely similar to Colorado and Washington’s plans.
Unfortunately, while a step in the right direction–and a clearcut sign that the will of the people wants legal weed–odds are that the bill will die a quiet death before it becomes a reality.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives took a major step forward today, voting 170-162 to approve a bill that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for use by adults in the “Live Free or Die” state.
Unfortunately, Gov. Maggie Hassan has already promised she will veto the bill if it reaches her desk. “I just think it’s the wrong message to send to young people,” she explained.
Based on Colorado’s Amendment 64, HB 492 would end New Hampshire’s failed prohibition of marijuana and replace it with a system of sensible regulation. This is the first time any state legislative chamber has approved such a bill, so it’s great to see that New Hampshire legislators have been willing to evolve along with the shift in public opinion!
Next the bill will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. A second vote by the House will be held in February or March, and if HB 492 passes a second time, it will head to the Senate. [MPP]
60% of the state wants legalization, according to New Hampshire polls. So, while we won’t see legal marijuana in New Hampshire (or the greater East Coast) in 2014, as these numbers add up, it becomes a matter of when, not if legal weed goes nation wide in America. Whether it’s a state like Alaska or California, Washington and Colorado will have company sooner rather than later.
State governments and legislators have seen what’s transpired in Colorado and the tax dollars it’s raising for the state, and have taken notes. Every day, it feels like a new state makes news for considering more progressive laws, whether outright legalization or introducing medical marijuana. New Hampshire is the latest example and domino to fall signifying the turning tide of a nation.
Every state in New England has medical marijuana (22 total states do), but New Hampshire currently has a very limited form of medical marijuana that limits medicine to severely ill, dire patients. In due time, that will have to change as well.