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Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Sidetracked in N.H. Senate Committee


A committee is holding off action on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Hampshire.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to hold it in committee. The recommendation means it is unlikely a legalization effort will move forward in the Legislature this year.

The House passed the bill in April.

Governor Sununu had pledged to veto the legalization bill if it reached his desk.


Senators expressed interest in further reworking the bill, while opponents applauded the Senate committee's move. 


Kate Frey is vice president of advocacy for New Futures. In a statement, she said New Hampshire is joining other states, including New Jersey and New York, that "have put the brakes on the marijuana industry's attempt to market and sell another addictive drug to vulnerable populations."


Matt Simon, New England Political Director for Marijuana Policy Project, noted there neither legislative chamber likely had enough votes to override Sununu's promised veto.


"The odds have been against this bill from day 1," he said. "They pressed pause from our perspective."


Critics rallied against the legislation during two public hearings the Senate Judiciary Committee held this spring. 

[Join the NHPR Facebook group, "Pot in New Hampshire," community forum for discussion of marijuana legislation and issues in New Hampshire.] 

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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