Should N.H. legalize marijuana? A dozen views to consider
Should New Hampshire legalize marijuana? Last week, the New Hampshire House said yes – despite Gov. Maggie Hassan’s vow to veto such a bill if it reaches her desk. Here are a dozen more views to consider:
“This is the first time any state legislative chamber has approved such a bill, so it’s great to see that New Hampshire legislators have been willing to evolve along with the shift in public opinion.” Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project.
“Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” American Medical Association House of Delegates, in reaffirming its opposition to legalization in November.
“This isn’t primarily a political movement anymore. It’s becoming a thriving industry.” Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, in an interview with Time magazine.
“The legalization of marijuana is moving fast in parts of the United States, and it looks as though the domino effect could quickly move to other states such as Vermont.” Former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy, chairman of Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in an interview with Fox News.
“Just as we would no longer say women have to go back in the kitchen or gays have to go back in the closet, we recognize that times have changed. We are no longer slaves to our misguided past.” Manchester Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, sponsor of the New Hampshire legalization bill
“It’s an issue that the Democrats can use to pump up the youth vote. The politics of it are dangerous for the GOP.” Alex Patton, Republican political consultant, commenting on a Republican effort to keep a legalization measure off the ballot in Florida, in an interview with Bloomberg News.
“A perception of legal marijuana as safe, combined with sophisticated marketing, may well double or triple pot use.” Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal, founder of the Phoenix House drug treatment program.
“It’s important for (marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state) to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished. . . . Having said all that, those who argue that legalizing marijuana is a panacea and it solves all these social problems I think are probably overstating the case.” President Obama, in an interview with The New Yorker
“The Obama Administration’s decision not to prioritize the prosecution of the large-scale trafficking and sale of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado will contribute to these problems. . . . I appreciate the challenges facing law enforcement in dealing with the mixed messages on marijuana being sent by the Obama Administration and some states.” Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, complaining that increased marijuana was coming into his state from Colorado, where it is now legal.
“I do think America’s under a certain amount of competitive pressure. We like to think of ourselves as the leading power, and we’re an aging 4 percent of the world’s 7.2 billion people. So I think we have to stay alert and heads up. I don’t know if everybody’s going to pot that that’s going to be a positive path forward.” California Gov. Jerry Brown, in an interview with the Washington Post.
“It’s a nonstarter for me.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with the New York Daily News.
“The (Colorado) rollout’s gone amazingly well, and we knew it would. We’re on the right side of history.” Christian Sederberg, an attorney who helped implement the Colorado law, in an interview with Time magazine.
“Our visitors are interested in recreating in a nontraditional way.” Bruce Brown, a Colorado district attorney, in an interview with the New York Daily News.
“I guarantee you one thing. We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun
“Maybe we should legalize. We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.” Arizona Sen. John McCain, in response to a question at a September town hall meeting