New Hampshire House Gives Preliminary Approval to Legalization Bill

New Hampshire House Gives Preliminary Approval to Legalization Bill

Flickr / Samuel Tristan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A legalization bill in the state of New Hampshire has just cleared its first legislative hurdle. On Jan. 8, 2018, the state House of Representatives voted to give preliminary approval to an amended version of HB 656, a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

According to New Hampshire Public Radio, the vote came after an attempt was made by House members to kill the bill. Many of the bill’s opponents call the measure premature and want to hold off on voting on the measure until the legislative commission that was created to study legalization can report back to lawmakers on Nov. 1.

The House, however, rejected those arguments and voted 162 to 183 against killing the bill.

If approved, HB 656 would legalize the possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana and five grams of hashish for persons aged 21 years or older. Individuals would also be able to cultivate up to six marijuana plants.

“When this bill becomes effective it will no longer be a crime to cultivate or possess a small amount of marijuana. It leaves in place the prohibition against sales and distribution,” said Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, a supporter of legalizstion.

With the House’s preliminary approval, HB 656 will now go to the House Ways & Means Committee.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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