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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Final Version of HB 215 Includes Numerous Opponents of Reforming Marijuana Laws, But No Supporters

Ever feel as if the deck has been stacked? A New Hampshire cannabis legalization “study commission” — which was never much more than a delay tactic, anyway — has been filled with exclusively anti-marijuana members.

Advocates for legalizing and regulating marijuana in New Hampshire sent a letter on Thursday to Gov. Chris Sununu asking him to veto HB 215. That’s the bill that would create the study commission to consider marijuana legalization and regulation.

renny cushing new hampshire house marijuana legalization
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Rep. Renny Cushing:
Prime sponsor of the bill is now advocating against its passage
[NH Business Review]

The letter was signed by leading advocates including the bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton). It notes that:

“The commission envisioned by the final bill includes numerous vocal opponents, such as the Association of Chiefs of Police and New Futures, but it does not include any known supporters.”

The House version of the bill included a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire and a representative from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). That would at least have added some balance to the commission, but the Senate removed those prospective members from the bill.

matt simon marijuana policy project new hampshire legalization
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Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project:
“New Hampshire should absolutely study marijuana legalization, but this isn’t the way to go about it”
[VT Digger]

“New Hampshire should absolutely study marijuana legalization, but this isn’t the way to go about it,” explained Matt Simon, New England political director for the MPP. “Sadly, the commission proposed in this bill would have little to no credibility with Granite Staters who support legalizing marijuana.”

A poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in April and May of 2017 found that 68 percent of Granite Staters support legalizing marijuana.

You can read the full letter at https://www.mpp.org/HB215vetoletter.

 

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