For years, the pattern has held: The New Hampshire House recommends fully legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the Granite State, and the Senate shoots the measure down.
Perhaps not this year.
In a notable move late last month, the House Criminal Justice Committee recommended that the 400-member body scrap two bills that would greatly loosen marijuana laws in the state. After one hearing, the committee recommended putting off until next year House Bill 237, which would legalize the use marijuana, and House Bill 629, which would legalize it and allow growing at home.
The 14-7 vote was opposed by all seven Democrats on the committee.
The recommendation moves next to the full House, which could override it and pass one or both bills. But the committee’s vote is a sign that the fight for marijuana legalization in New Hampshire – usually advanced by dual support from Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans – could have a harder go under a fully-Republican legislature.
Gov. Chris Sununu has long opposed legalization, pointing to the opioid crisis. Proponents have gestured to other states; all surrounding states plus Canada currently have some form of legalization. [Read more at Concord Monitor]