New Hampshire wants to become the next state to join pot-smoking havens like Washington and Colorado by legalizing the green stuff, but the governor has other ideas.
The state House voted 170-162 Wednesday to approve House Bill 492, which would legalize carrying up to one ounce of marijuana if you're 21 years old and over, while also establishing restrictions on the production and sale. You can read over the bill here. This is the first time a state legislature has ever passed a bill that legalizes and regulates the sale of marijuana. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee suggested the House not pass the bill, but the House told the committee to chill out. New Hampshire's liquor distribution laws are among the most restrictive in the nation, so it's not surprising the state might not open to the idea of readily available weed:
If you want liquor in New Hamsphire, you gotta go to a state store. Yet legislature just passed bill allowing *private* marijuana retailers!— Clint Hendler (@clinthendler) January 15, 2014
Legalizing marijuana is the hot new trend and if the New Hampshire House of Representatives had its way, the state would on the cutting edge. Next the bill heads to the state's tax committee for an economic evaluation. Then, the bill goes for more debate in the Senate. Whether or not it passes there is up in unclear. But it doesn't matter, anyway, because New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan already promised to veto your buzz, and the bill, if it makes her desk.
New Hampshire, or should we say New Hempshire, would tax all sales at a rate of about $30 per ounce under Bill 492, reaping an estimated $30 million in tax benefits per year. Marijuana in other states has been so far a lucrative racket where supply can barely keep up with demand. In other words, money is on the table. If only someone would take it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.