Yesterday morning, the medical cannabis home cultivation bill (SB 420) passed the Senate in a voice vote. Next, it will proceed to the House, which has passed similar bills by overwhelming margins. Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a similar bill in 2019, and the Senate was three votes short of overriding his veto, so either the governor or three senators will need to change their positions if the bill is to become law this year.
While we wait for the House to schedule a hearing on SB 420, we will resume focus on HB 1648, the adult-use legalization bill that is pending in the House. Yesterday’s House session was cancelled because of snow, so the vote is currently expected on February 19 or 20.
We are running a Facebook ad to promote the bill to the general public.
You can read a summary of HB 1648, which passed the House Criminal Justice Committee in a 13-7 vote, here.
Last year, the New Hampshire House and Senate passed a bill that would have allowed patients and caregivers to grow a limited supply of cannabis. Sadly, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed the bill. The House voted to override his veto, but the Senate fell three votes short of doing so.
A nearly identical bill, SB 420, passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week, and it is scheduled for a vote in the full Senate on Thursday, February 6.
For the sake of patients who are still struggling because of limited access to cannabis, please contact your senator right now and urge them to support HB 364!
Additionally, if you live in the Manchester area, it is especially important that you follow up with a phone call to your senator’s office. All three of Manchester’s senators voted against the bill in 2019!
SB 420 would allow possession of three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings for each patient. The bill is critically important because many patients are unable to afford the products that are available at dispensaries, which are not covered by health insurance. For some patients, home cultivation is simply the best, most affordable option.
After you contact your senator, please share this message with your family and friends.
There will be several opportunities to support cannabis policy reform in New Hampshire this week. This is a very important time to make sure your voice is being heard in Concord!
Here are the three events that will be taking place:
TUESDAY — Cannabis Legalization Advocacy Workshop
WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Americans for Prosperity, 340 Granite Street (First Floor), Manchester
Click here for more details and to RSVP.
WEDNESDAY — Public Hearings on Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Bill and Other Bills
WHEN: The hearings will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Legislators will testify first, followed by members of the public. Click here for more details on the bills and hearings.
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 101, 33 North State Street, Concord (behind the capitol building)
Click here to RSVP.
THURSDAY — Public Hearing on the Cannabis Legalization Bill
WHEN: Advocates will gather for a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 23. The hearing will begin at 1:30 p.m. Legislators will testify first, followed by members of the public. Please note that the hearing may last several hours.
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord (behind the capitol building) — Press conference in lobby; hearing in Rooms 210-212.
Click here to RSVP.
You can read a summary of the legalization bill, HB 1648, here.
Please mark your calendars and share this message with your friends and family. If you can’t make it to the workshop this evening but are interested in testifying at one of the hearings, please email Matt Simon directly, and he will send you more information.
Last week, along with our allies at ACLU-NH and Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, we launched the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition. As the Union Leader reported, the new coalition’s efforts will be focused on convincing Manchester’s three state senators to support legalization.
This important effort needs to be amplified and duplicated by advocates throughout the state. For starters, please email your state legislators today and encourage them to support the upcoming bill to end cannabis prohibition in New Hampshire!
Elected officials need to understand that legalization is more popular than any politician in New Hampshire. Granite Staters know that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, and we are more than ready to see it treated that way in the “Live Free or Die” state!
If you agree with us that New Hampshire should not be an island of prohibition in a sea of freedom, please support our efforts with a donation. Then, please share this message with your family and friends.
If you live in or near Manchester, please join us on Thursday, November 21 as we launch the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition with an expert panel and Q&A session.
Here are the details:
WHAT: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition Kickoff, Featuring Panel and Q&A
WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21
WHERE: Jupiter Hall, 89 Hanover Street, Manchester
WHO: Senator John Reagan (R-Deerfield)
Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton)
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project
Jeanne Hruska, ACLU-NH
Ross Connolly, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire
You can RSVP here at the Facebook event page.
Please mark your calendars for November 21 and share this message with your friends and family in the Manchester area!
The New Hampshire House has already passed the legalization bill once this year in a 209-147 vote. Unfortunately, while the first vote on HB 481 was lopsided, it did not reach the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto. We urgently need to continue gaining momentum, so it is very important that representatives hear from supporters before the next vote, which will take place this Thursday.
Supporters are working hard to convince representatives who remain undecided on HB 481. Americans for Prosperity will host a phone bank this evening, Tuesday, April 2, from 5-8 p.m. at their offices in Manchester (340 Granite St. First Floor) and Portsmouth (767 Islington St. Second Floor), and ACLU-NH will host a phone bank tomorrow evening, Wednesday, April 3, from 6-8 p.m. at their office in Concord (18 Low Avenue). Please help out if you are able!
If you haven't already done so, please take a few moments to find out how your representative(s) voted and send them a follow-up message.
You can read a summary of the bill here, as amended by the Ways and Means Committee and approved in a 14-6 vote. Please share this message with your family and friends!
Patients who feel strongly about home cultivation are encouraged to testify at the hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m.
Since 2009, the New Hampshire House has passed numerous bills that would allow patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis. These bills have all failed to pass the Senate, but there are good reasons to believe this year might be different. Tomorrow afternoon, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill.
Here are the details:
WHAT: Public hearing on HB 364, a bill that would allow patients and caregivers to grow a limited supply of cannabis (three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings per patient)
WHERE: Room 101, Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord
WHEN: Scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 (but may begin a bit later, since other bills are also on the agenda)
This is an important opportunity for patients to testify in support of improving the medical cannabis law. If you've never testified before, or if you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com.
Additionally, our allies at Americans for Prosperity will be hosting another phone banking and letter writing session in support of HB 481, the adult-use legalization bill, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. at their offices in Manchester (340 Granite Street, First Floor) and Portsmouth (767 Islington Street, Second Floor). All legalization supporters are welcome. Dinner will be provided for volunteers. For more details, and to RSVP on Facebook, click here.
Please share this message with your family and friends!
Phone banking and letter writing campaigns in support of HB 481 will commence tomorrow evening at the Americans for Prosperity offices in Manchester and Portsmouth.
The New Hampshire House has already voted 209-147 to pass HB 481, the bill that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults' use, but we need to continue building support and gaining votes in order to override an expected veto by Gov. Chris Sununu. The bill is currently being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, and a second vote by the full House will happen before April 4. If it passes the House a second time, it will proceed to the Senate.
Americans for Prosperity has emerged this year as a strong supporter of HB 481. Tomorrow evening, they will be hosting phone banking and letter writing sessions at their offices in Manchester and Portsmouth. All supporters of HB 481 are welcome. Dinner will be provided for volunteers. For more details, and to RSVP on Facebook, click here.
WHAT: Phone banking and letter writing in support of HB 481
WHEN: Thursday, March 22, 5 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Offices of Americans for Prosperity in Manchester (340 Granite St. First Floor) and Portsmouth (767 Islington St. Second Floor)
If you haven't already done so, please take a few moments to find how your state representative(s) voted and send them a message to follow up. It's important that we thank representatives who voted in favor, and for those who did not, this is a critical opportunity to ask them why they voted no.
Please share this message with your family and friends!
The walls of marijuana prohibition have crumbled all around New Hampshire. It is now legal for adults in all three neighboring states to grow and possess cannabis, and retail sales will soon become a reality in Massachusetts, Maine, and Canada.
Sadly, Gov. Chris Sununu continues to oppose legalization, in part because he continues to rely on terrible advice from New Hampshire’s so-called “drug czar,” former Manchester police chief David Mara. Last week, during an appearance at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mara went on camera and offered an incredibly weak argument in defense of the status quo.
In other news, Senate Democratic leader Jeff Woodburn has launched an online petition calling for Sununu to support legalization. Sen. Woodburn announced last month that he intends to sponsor a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in 2019.
If you are a New Hampshire resident, please call Gov. Sununu’s office today — tell him it’s time to stop listening to Chief Mara and start listening to the people of New Hampshire, who overwhelmingly support ending marijuana prohibition!
Just days after the New Hampshire House approved a bill that would remove the threat of arrest for low-level marijuana possession, a man in jail on a possession charge died of unknown causes in his cell.
A homeless man jailed for marijuana possession and unable to come up with the $100 cash bail was found dead in his cell at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester Sunday.
Jeffrey Pendleton, 26, was found unconscious in his cell during a routine head count. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
In a press release Monday, jail officials say there were no apparent signs of distress.
An investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.
Pendleton had been in jail since Wednesday, a day after Nashua police arrested him on a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession.
While the cause of death is currently unknown, this young man might still be alive if he hadn't been jailed for possessing a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol.
We need to make sure this never happens again in the Granite State. If you are a New Hampshire resident, please contact your senators and urge them to support decriminalizing marijuana possession.