Tag: new hampshire marijuana

9 States Have Legalized Cannabis – Here Are the 5 States Most Likely to Become #10

Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).

New Hampshire

Just days ago, by a vote of 207 to 139, New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives approved House Bill 656 which would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older. This makes the state an easy choice for this list, and gives it a large head start on most other states. However, its fate in the Senate is far from certain, and passage will be much more challenging. It’s also uncertain if Governor Chris Sununu would allow it to become law. Still, it’s hard to not get the feeling that legalization in New Hampshire isn’t very far away.

New Jersey

Newly elected Governor Phillip D. Murphy has vowed to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office. This is in stark contrast to New Jersey’s last governor, Chris Christie, who was staunchly opposed to legalization. Although Governor Murphy may or may not be able to follow through on this promise, it’s all but guaranteed that legalization will soon be a reality in New Jersey.

Michigan

Michigan is the only state where a marijuana legalization initiative is already on this year’s general election ballot. This gives voters the opportunity to make Michigan the 10th legal marijuana state – that is, of course, unless another state legalizes through their legislature prior to November.

Ohio

In 2016 Ohio voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized marijuana. However, the proposal’s failure had far more to do with its bad design (creating a monopoly among a few growers) rather than the fact that it would have legalized cannabis. Some of the proponents of the measure are now attempting to get a new measure – one done which much more community input and no monopoly – on this year’s November ballot. Polling in the state shows majority support for legalization among voters, so if the measure is placed on the ballot it has a decent chance of passage.

New Mexico

Last year New Mexico’s House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3 to 1 to approve legislation to legalize marijuana. Unfortunately the measure hasn’t advanced any further. However, a legalization bill making it through any legislative committees is a solid sign that there’s an appetite for reform. According to polling, there’s strong appetite for legalization among New Mexico voters, with 61% in favor and just 34% opposed.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Tripartisan New Hampshire Bill Would Protect Medical Cannabis Patients From Having Info Given to Feds

New legislation filed in New Hampshire would protect medical cannabis patients from having their information handed over to the federal government.

House Bill 1672, filed by Representative Caleb Dyer (L) with a tripartisan group of lawmakers, “requires a search warrant issued by a judge based upon probable cause for any federal request for information relative to users of therapeutic cannabis created by the registry.”

Specifically, the measure would amend RSA 126-X:4, XI(b)(4) to read as follows:

“(4)  Requests by law enforcement officials under this section to the department pursuant to a sworn affidavit, search warrant, or court order, regardless of whether or not the name or address was found in the registry, shall be confidential under this chapter and exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A.  Aggregate data relative to such requests may be made public if it does not contain any identifying information regarding the specific law enforcement request.  Requests by federal authorities for any information relative to users of therapeutic cannabis contained in the registry shall require a search warrant issued by a judge based on probable cause.”

If passed into lawHouse Bill 1672 would take effect January 1, 2019. The measure has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve Bill to Legalize Marijuana

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved a bill to make marijuana legal for adults.

The vote was 207 to 139. The bill will now move to the Senate, where its passage will send it to Governor Chris Sununu for consideration.

House Bill 656, introduced last session by Represenative Glen Aldrich (R-Gilford), would make possession of three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana legal for adults aged 21 and older. Home cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants would also be legalized.

“The House deserves tremendous credit for taking this reasonable step forward”, says Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Granite Staters understand that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and they’re ready to see it treated that way. Allowing adults 21 and older to grow a few plants without penalty will give them a much-needed alternative to buying from illicit dealers.”

Last year, the New Hampshire Legislature voted overwhelmingly to replace criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession with civil penalties. Governor Chris Sununu (R) signed the bill into law.

Eight states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, including Massachusetts and Maine, all through ballot initiatives. The Vermont House approved a measure that would make marijuana possession and limited home cultivation legal for adultson Thursday, and it is expected to pass in the Senate tomorrow. A poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in April and May of 2017 found that 68% of Granite Staters support legalizing marijuana.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Tomorrow

A New Hampshire bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana officially takes effect tomorrow.

The bill makes New Hampshire the 22nd state in the nation to eliminate the possibility of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

“The governor and Legislature both deserve a lot of credit for moving the state forward with this commonsense reform,” said Matt Simon, the Manchester-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Unlike his predecessors, who opposed similar proposals, Gov. Sununu appears to understand that ‘Live Free or Die’ is more than just a motto on a license plate.”

Simon continues; “A lot of credit also goes to the House, which has been supporting decriminalization bills since 2008,” Simon said. “It was refreshing to see the Senate finally come to an agreement with the House on this issue in 2017. This is a big step toward a more sensible marijuana policy for New Hampshire.”

House Bill 640 was introduced by Representative Renny Cushing and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, where it received overwhelming approval in February (318-36). The Senate amended and approved it on May 11 (17-6), and the House passed the Senate version by a voice vote on June 1. Gov. Sununu signed it on July 18.

This legislation reduces the penalty for possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor — currently punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 — to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine for a first or second offense and a $300 fine for a third offense within three years of the first offense. A fourth offense within three years of the first offense may be charged as a class B misdemeanor, but there would be no arrest or possibility of jail time.

“There is no good reason to continue arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana possession,” Simon said. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and Granite Staters are ready to see it treated that way. A very strong majority of state residents support ending marijuana prohibition altogether.

“New Hampshire lawmakers should continue to follow their constituents’ lead on this issue,” Simon said. “Every state in New England is either implementing or strongly considering legislation to regulate marijuana for adult use. It is time for the Legislature to develop a realistic marijuana prohibition exit strategy for New Hampshire.”

More than two-thirds of adults in New Hampshire (68%) support making marijuana legal, according to a Granite State Poll released last month by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Senate Committee Votes to Establish Commission to Study Marijuana Legalization

Nevada’s Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to establish a commission designed to study the legalization of marijuana.

House Bill 215 will now move towards a vote by the full Senate. Given it has already been passed by the full House of Representatives, passage in the Senate would send it to Governor Chris Sununu for consideration.

The 22-person commission would be tasked with examining “the possible impacts of changing state policy to treat marijuana in a manner similar to the way the state deals with alcohol and shall study the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana including the specific issues related to growing, selling, taxing, limiting use, advertising, promoting, and otherwise regulating marijuana and marijuana-infused edible products.”

The commission “shall also study the experiences of New Hampshire and other states regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes and for recreational purposes”, and “shall also study the experiences of states that have or are in the process of legalizing and regulating the recreational use of marijuana by adults, with particular attention to be given to the ways the changes in marijuana laws in Maine and Massachusetts, as well as Canada, impact our state.”

In addition, the commission “shall study any other issue that the commission deems relevant to its objective”, and may “solicit the advice or testimony of any organization or individual with information or expertise relevant to its study.”

According to the proposal the members of the commission shall be as follows:

(a)  Five members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b)  Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(c)  The attorney general, or designee.

(d)  The commissioner of the department of safety, or designee.

(e)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.

(f)  The commissioner of the department of revenue administration, or designee.

(g)  The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food, or designee.

(h)  A representative of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed by that organization.

(i)  A representative of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, appointed by that organization.

(j)  A representative of New Futures, appointed by that organization.

(k)  A representative of the Marijuana Policy Project, appointed by that organization.

(l)  A representative of the New Hampshire Bar Association, appointed by that organization.

(m)  A representative of the New Hampshire Medical Society, appointed by that organization.

(n)  A representative of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation, appointed by that organization.

(o)  Three representatives of the public, appointed by the governor.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Governor to Sign Measure Decriminalize Marijuana

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says he will sign into law a bill that decriminalizes cannabis.

Once signed into law, House Bill 640 will decriminalize the possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana, reducing the charge from an arrestable misdemeanor as it is today, to a simple civil infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for a first or second offense. A third offense within three years of the initial offense will result in a fine of $300, and a fourth offense within three years of the original offense can result in a misdemeanor charge, but no arrest or jail time.

“I want to thank the Legislature for passing common sense marijuana reform,” Governor Chris Sununu (R) said in a statement. “I look forward to signing House Bill 640 into law.”

The proposal was passed by the House of Representatives with a 316 to 38 vote, and passed the Senate with a vote of 17 to 6.

According to polling released last year by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 72% of New Hampshire adults support decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

New Hampshire’s House of Representatives gave approval to legislation decriminalizing marijuana with an overwhelming 318 to 36 vote.

House Bill 640, sponsored by Representative Renny Cushing, now moves to the Senate for consideration. The proposal would reduce the penalty for possessing up to an ounce of cannabis from a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, to a simple civil fine with no possibility of jail time or a criminal charge.

The fine would be $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $350 for third and subsequent offenses (if committed within three years of the first two offenses).

“Most representatives agree it is time to stop wasting limited public resources on arrests for simple marijuana possession,” says Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope their colleagues in the Senate will agree that our tax dollars and law enforcement officials’ time would be better spent addressing serious crimes.”

More than seven out of 10 Granite Staters (72%) would like to see the Legislature decriminalize or legalize marijuana, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in July 2016.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Committee Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis and Hash

New Hampshire’s House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis and hash possession.

House Bill 640 was approved with an overwhelming 14 to 2 vote. The measure would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and up to five grams of hash, for those 21 and older.

If police do catch someone possessing cannabis or hash within those limits, it would be “a fine of $100 for a first offense under this paragraph, a fine of $200 for a second offense within three years of the first offense, or a fine of $350 for a third or subsequent offense within 3 years of 2 other offenses.” Under current law the possession of even a minuscule amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

House Bill 640 is sponsored by a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of a dozen lawmakers including Representatives Robert Cushing (D), Keith Murphy (R), Frank Sapareto (R), William Pearson (D), Carol McGuire (R), Chuck Grassie (D), Daniel Eaton (D), Patricia Lovejoy (D), as well as Senators Martha Clark, John Reagan, Daniel Innis.

Last year New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives passed a similar bill with a 289 to 58 vote, but it failed to pass the Senate.

According to a WMUR Granite State Poll released July of last year, 61% of New Hampshire voters support legalizing cannabis.

The full text of House Bill 640 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

New Hampshire Senate Minority leader to Introduce Cannabis Legalization Bill

New Hampshire Senate Minority leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) has announced that he will soon introduce legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.

Senate Minority leader “I think they have forced us to look at our laws and regulations,” says Woodburn, referring to Canada and the fact that their government is in the process of legalizing cannabis. “What we can’t control is what’s happening all around us. We can’t put our heads in the snow.”

Woodburn’s bill will be modeled after successful legalization efforts in other states such as Colorado, where the possession and licensed distribution of small amounts of cannabis is legal for those who are 21 and older. Cannabis will be taxed, though Woodburn hasn’t announced what the rate will be set at; he also hasn’t announced the exact possession limit.

“I’m very, very pleased with Sen. Woodburn’s decision to show leadership on the legalization issue;” says Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It’s an issue that people are looking for leadership on, and there’s not been a lot of leadership in the senate.”

Unfortunately Governor-elect Chris Sununu has stated that he doesn’t support legalizing cannabis. He does, however, support decriminalizing cannabis, which is also expected to be discussed in the upcoming legislative session (starting January).

According to a WMUR/Granite State Poll conducted in March, 62% of adults in New Hampshire support legalizing cannabis.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.