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N.H. Senate votes down legalization

Apr 28, 2022

cannabis legalization, cannabis possession, federal law, Granite State, HB 1598, HB 629, home cultivation, island of prohibition, legalization, Live Free or Die State, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Senate, NH, poison pill, Prohibition, retail sales, Sen. Becky Whitley, state-run monopoly


In a 9-15 vote, New Hampshire Senate defeats HB 629

Earlier today, the New Hampshire Senate voted down a bill (HB 629) to make it legal for adults who are 21 or older to possess and grow small amounts of cannabis. Only nine of the 24 senators voted for legalization.

Outrageously, the “Live Free or Die” State will remain an island of prohibition — surrounded by jurisdictions where cannabis is legal — for at least another year.

Sen. Becky Whitley led the floor debate in support of HB 629, explaining,  “The so-called war on marijuana has not worked. It does not make us safer, it wastes taxpayer dollars, and it has needlessly ruined lives.”

Polling shows 74% of Granite State voters support legalizing cannabis. But, year after year, the Senate has ignored the will of voters and killed House-passed legalization bills.

As you may recall, a Senate committee unanimously rejected a separate proposal (HB 1598) that would have legalized cannabis possession — but not home cultivation — while creating a state-run monopoly on retail sales. I urged significant amendments, explaining a state-run monopoly on cannabis sales is a poison pill that is extremely unlikely to get up and running due to federal law. The Senate agreed with the committee today, rejecting HB 1598 in a voice vote.

2022 is an election year, so voters will have an opportunity to elect a new Senate. Stay tuned for a voter guide as the election season approaches.