All through a lot of this yr, New Hampshire lawmakers have been contemplating a invoice to legalize leisure weed. However now, after some preliminary successes, the invoice has now stalled out. Yesterday, the New Hampshire Senate referred the invoice again to the Judiciary Committee and voted to delay any additional consideration of a leisure invoice till December or early 2020.
Leisure Invoice Stalls within the Senate
After receiving a Home-approved leisure invoice earlier this yr, the New Hampshire Senate didn’t debate the piece of laws yesterday. As an alternative, Senate lawmakers despatched the invoice again to the Judiciary Committee for additional consideration.
Consequently, legalization in 2019 is all however off the desk for the Granite State. As per the Related Press, there’s technically an opportunity that lawmakers may return to the problem in December of this yr.
However New Hampshire Public Radio clarified that the Senate’s vote extra realistically implies that nothing will occur on the leisure entrance till 2020.
“Though we could disagree on whether or not the prohibition of marijuana has been successful, or whether or not we must always stay an island inside New England, all of us agree that this choice can’t be made flippantly and with out additional consideration,” Senator Martha Hennessey advised NHPR.
The Senate’s choice comes after the invoice initially noticed some restricted success. Particularly, the invoice cleared the Home of Representatives in April. That month, the invoice gained by a 200-163 margin.
Nonetheless, the invoice finally appeared poised to fail. That’s largely as a result of Governor Chris Sununu was very clear that he opposed the invoice. Making issues worse, the invoice didn’t obtain sufficient votes within the Home to override a possible veto from Sununu.
An Island of Prohibition
On account of the Senate’s current choice, New Hampshire will stay one of many solely states in New England with none type of authorized leisure cannabis. Actually, New Hampshire is now surrounded by weed-legal governments.
Leisure weed is up and working in Maine and Massachusetts. Moreover, leisure weed is authorized in Vermont, though the state doesn’t but have a longtime retail system.
And even New Hampshire’s northernmost border places it subsequent to Canada, one of many first nations on the planet to legalize weed throughout the board.
Even past New Hampshire’s bordering neighbors, legalization appears poised to develop. Significantly in New Jersey and New York.
Though legalization in 2019 has largely fizzled out in New York, lawmakers and public advocates are actually contemplating the chance very significantly.
In New Jersey, a leisure invoice that didn’t make its approach into regulation ended up paving the best way for lawmakers to considerably increase the state’s medical marijuana program. And transferring ahead, it appears possible that New Jersey will ultimately legalize leisure.
Though New Hampshire continues to outlaw leisure weed, it does have a medical marijuana program. NHPR experiences that this system at present has greater than 7,000 registered sufferers.
Advocates for leisure weed in New Hampshire have already indicated that they are going to proceed pushing for legalization.
“Our opponents could have succeeded in delaying the inevitable . . . however they’ve utterly misplaced this battle within the court docket of public opinion,” Matt Simon, New England political director on the Marijuana Coverage Challenge, advised NHPR. “It’s only a matter of time earlier than the legislature votes to finish cannabis prohibition within the ‘Stay Free or Die’ state.”