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Pot-legalization advocates ask governor to veto pot study bill

Staff Report
July 15. 2017 1:20AM
Adult cannabis plants grow inside a temperature controlled room in a greenhouse in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

CONCORD — Advocates for legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire are urging Gov. Chris Sununu to veto HB 215, a bill that would create a study commission to consider marijuana legalization and regulation, claiming the commission is stacked with legalization opponents.

The letter, signed by the bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, and 11 other state reps, notes, “The commission envisioned by the final bill includes numerous vocal opponents, such as the Association of Chiefs of Police and New Futures, but it does not include any known supporters.”

The House version of the bill included a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire and a representative from the Marijuana Policy Project, which would have added some balance to the commission, according to Cushing, but the Senate removed those prospective members from the bill.

“New Hampshire should absolutely study marijuana legalization, but this isn’t the way to go about it,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

The House concurred with Senate amendments changing the composition of the commission, which will include four members of the House, two members of the Senate, and the commissioners of Safety; Health and Human Service; Revenue Administration; Agriculture; and Banking.

The N.H. Bar Association, Chiefs of Police, Medical Society, the public health advocacy group New Futures, all will have a seat at the table, along with one representative of the public, appointed by the governor.


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