House considers decriminalizing marijuana
New Hampshire’s House is considering legalizing up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older.
The House will vote Wednesday on a bill that proposes taxing the drug when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce and letting people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment.
Supporters say the bill is modeled after one approved by Colorado voters last year and is similar to one Washington state voters passed. They say New Hampshire would receive millions of dollars in tax revenue under the bill.
Opponents argue marijuana is bad for people’s health, would be difficult to regulate and is illegal under federal law.
Lawmakers have considered but rejected decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in the past, most recently last session. But decriminalization supporters were encouraged when the state – with Gov. Maggie Hassan’s backing – made it legal for the seriously ill to possess and use the drug last year. Implementing the state’s medical marijuana law is expected to take another year.
The Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter ounce of the drug last year and Hassan opposes decriminalization.