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Marijuana-legalization legislation dies in N.H. House

Last modified: 3/15/2013 10:15:32 AM
Legislation to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire met a swift end yesterday, when the House voted to kill the bill without any debate.

The House, where Democrats hold a majority, voted, 239-112, to kill the bill.

The vote didn’t fall along party lines. Some 135 Democrats and 104 Republicans voted to kill the bill, while 61 Democrats and 51 Republicans voted in support of it.

If it had become law, the legislation would have removed references to marijuana from the state’s drug control laws as of Jan. 1.

Marijuana would still be illegal under federal law. But New Hampshire would have followed in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, where voters last year approved ballot initiatives to allow the recreational use of marijuana.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee was divided on the bill, recommending the full House kill it on a 12-8 vote. Opponents noted it would have run counter to federal law, while supporters said prohibition of marijuana isn’t working.

The House will consider two more marijuana bills later this month.

One would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted, 12-6, to recommend the full House kill that bill.

The second bill would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana for seriously ill and terminal patients. The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee endorsed it on a 14-1 vote.

Also yesterday, the House passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp. Hemp can be used to make rope, fabric and other products – though, like marijuana, it is derived from the cannabis plant.

The legislation was approved on a voice vote. A similar bill passed the House last year but died after the Senate sent it to interim study.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

Concord and Korea have more in common than you think. For instance, did you know they both start with the same letter? Also, the capital of South Korea boasts a population of about 10 million people, which is only about 10 million more than our fair city. They are practically twins.

Even with the avalanche of knowledge we just dropped on you, there’s likely still plenty you don’t know about Korea. Well, not for long. Stop by the Concord City Auditorium tonight at 7:30 for the latest installment in the Walker Lecture Series, “Korea, Land of Contrast,” a travelogue and film journey with Buddy Hatton.

Sure, the title sounds like a book report you handed in during your senior year, and yeah, we’re pretty sure Buddy Hatton was a 1950s recording artist, but trust us: You will be smarter for having gone. You will learn about Seoul, “an exciting way to experience the Asia of old and new,” according to the Walker Series press release. Without the jet lag, we assume. Journey through all of South Korea as Hatton highlights the “beautiful palaces” in Seoul (the Concord similarities just don’t stop) and how veterans of the Korean War wouldn’t recognize the ultra-modern cities with high-rises where barracks once stood.

The event is free, and though no reservations are required, it is first-come, first-seated. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit walkerlecture.org or concordcityauditorium.org.

(Email the Insiders at theinsiders@cmonitor.com.)


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