Just the other day the news reported that the New Hampshire House voted narrowly to legalize the recreational use of up to 1 oz of marijuana for people 21 and older. This bill still faces an uphill battle in the state Senate and Governor Hassan as stated she would veto any bill legalizing marijuana if it made it to her desk.
Proponents point to the fact that in a recent survey more than half of the states residents were for the legalization of marijuana with another 30 plus percent stating they really had no opinion one way or the other.
“The state would tax manufacturing facilities and stores at a rate of $30 per ounce and institute a 15 percent sales tax on all marijuana sold,” stated the Concord Monitor. This would bring in much needed revenue to the state.
With the legalization in both Washington and Colorado and the opinions of New Hampshire residents, it is likely that some day down the road, this bill will pass.
Opponents of the bill are concerned about regulation and the already high use of the drug among young people. They also cite that it is bad for your health and illegal under federal law.
Unfortunately, these are very weak excuses given by opponents, as many officials do not believe that legalizing marijuana would change the rates of youth users. Cigarettes are bad for your health, likely worse than marijuana, and yet these are legal and regulated by the state. The federal government in response to the legalization in Washington and Colorado has stated they are not in the business of chasing down every person who carries an ounce of marijuana. Instead they are more focused on the large scale trafficking of drugs into the U.S. from other countries.
New Hampshire is one of those rare democratic states that try to keep the balance between conservatism and liberalism. I like that about New Hampshire. I also recognize that legalizing marijuana is not going to radically change our state that much and may in fact bring that much needed revenue.
While I don’t believe the bill will pass this time, I do suspect it will come up again and eventually marijuana will become legal in our state. Stay tuned.
What’s your opinion of the legalization of marijuana?