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N.H. Police Chiefs Oppose Marijuana Legalization (Again)

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire Police Chiefs say a forthcoming report on marijuana legalization shows that now is a bad time to legalize recreational pot here.

The Association of Chiefs of Police gathered in Concord on Monday to repeat its opposition.

It comes as the legislative commission tasked with studying legalization, taxation and regulation of cannabis is wrapping up its report.

Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello is the Association's representative on the commission. He says a year of meetings has only strengthened their resolve. He and fellow chiefs thanked Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, for opposing legalization.

"In fact, the things that we’ve learned, the information that has been presented to us, the testimony that we’ve heard has done nothing but really bolster our opinion that opposition to marijuana in NH is the right side to be on.”

His concerns include youth impact, public safety, and the lack of roadside testing for drivers.
Mello says New Hampshire should wait and see how other states "wallow through it."


The commission's report -- which will be out by Nov. 1 -- projects revenues of up to $58 million a year from legalizing marijuana of up to an ounce for adults. 


Critics say that number is overblown and the cost of establishing regulations and enforcement will eat away at that revenue. Advocates say it's time for New Hampshire to legalize marijuana along the lines of alcohol sales -- and follow neighboring states that already permit adult-use marijuana.


Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.
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