Yo, what’s good my people? It’s ya boy Dan coming at you with the latest tea on the weed legalization battle in New Hampshire. So, check it out, the Republican governor of the state, Chris Sununu, just announced that he signed off on a new proposal for legalizing marijuana through a state-operated store system. And get this, it came just one day after the New Hampshire Senate shut down a bill for the same thing. Talk about drama!
But don’t get too excited yet, because we still don’t know if this new proposal will actually go through. The fate of the bill is still up in the air and we’re waiting to see what’s going to happen. In the past, the House passed a bill for a state-regulated market under the Liquor Commission, but the Senate wasn’t feeling it. Even some big-name supporters of weed legalization weren’t down with it.
Senator Jeb Bradley is out here saying that lawmakers shouldn’t prioritize adult-use marijuana reform, but Governor Sununu is all about that life. He’s been publicly supporting state-controlled cannabis sales and now that the traditional legalization proposal got shut down, he’s pushing even harder for this new plan.
Sununu even said that he’s considering running for president in 2024 and acknowledging his previous stance that New Hampshire wasn’t ready for weed reform. But now he’s changing his tune due to regional dynamics and shifts in public opinion. He knows that most residents support legalization and ignoring that would be straight-up foolish.
The governor is saying that he’s down to sign off on a legalization bill if it’s done right. He wants to focus on harm reduction rather than profits and thinks that having a state-regulated approach will help prevent young people from getting their hands on weed. Sununu also wants to make sure that cities have the power to say no to pot shops in their areas.
But get this – he doesn’t want to tax weed sales! He’s saying that this will help reduce the black market, which he says is super dangerous because of the fentanyl. He thinks that regulating the sale of marijuana will keep people safer in the long run. But if the legislature passes a bill without these provisions, he’s gonna veto it. He wants to work with lawmakers to make a plan that works for everyone.
So what do advocates think about all this? Well, House Majority Leader Jason Osborne is pretty stoked that Sununu is on board with legalization. But he’s worried that waiting until 2024 might be too late. He’s thinking about holding back some Senate bills if they get in the way of marijuana reform.
Karen O’Keefe from the Marijuana Policy Project is optimistic that Sununu is recognizing the majority support for legalization, but she’s not sure about the state-run stores idea. She thinks it’ll be too expensive and can only work if federal law changes. She’d rather see a traditional market like the one supported by House leaders.
All in all, it’s still up in the air whether New Hampshire will legalize weed or not and how they’ll do it. But one thing’s for sure – things are heating up and I’ll keep you posted on any new developments. Peace out!