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N.H. House Committee rejects bills to legalize marijuana

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The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice Committee rejected proposals Wednesday that would legalize and tax marijuana, and allow people to cultivate up to six plants per household.

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The votes mostly fell along party lines, with Republicans opposed and Democrats in favor.

“There is a version of recreational cannabis I will support,” Committee Chairman Darryl Abbas, Republican of Salem, told colleagues. “But I don’t support a sales tax on anything and I’m not going to support a sales tax on this.”

“I understand there might be some more proposals coming, yet this is the best bill to have come before the House,” said Rep. Casey Conley, a Democrat from Dover, before the vote.

Lawmakers have debated marijuana policy for years in Concord.

New Hampshire is the only state in northern New England to have rejected its legalization for recreational use.

Bills to permit the sale of recreational marijuana, and to allow adults to cultivate marijuana for personal use, have cleared the New Hampshire House several times.

But they have never found favor in the state Senate, where opponents to legalization, including law enforcement, have focused their lobbying efforts.

No New Hampshire governor has ever supported the legal use of marijuana for non-medical purposes.