New Hampshire House refused to legalize the House Bill 1694 that would have legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults over 21 years old. The bill proposed to impose a $15-per-ounce tax on the possession of leaves and $530-per-ounce tax on the flowers, which are much more potent and can also be used for plant cultivation.
If the bill had passed it would have allowed a person to grow six plants for adults producing around three pounds of the weed. Supporters of the bill said that it was high time that the House supports the bill and stop making users and possessors’ of marijuana feel like criminals.
According to the supporters, it is necessary that marijuana be legalized as they said it is less dangerous than alcohol that claimed 50,000 lives last year. However, the opponents of the bill had their own reasons for denying the acceptance of the recreational marijuana legalization process.
NH undergoing drug addiction crisis
They said that New Hampshire is undergoing terrible drug addiction crisis and hence time is not right for its legalization. They added that even the proponents of legalization have accepted that marijuana use is not completely harmless.
Under the existing New Hampshire, law offender caught with marijuana in any amount can be jailed for at least a year. The new bill tabled in the New Hampshire Senate could have changed this; however, it was killed during the legislative session. The new bill would have reduced penalty for the first time marijuana possessor carrying five grams hashish or half an ounce of pot and would have limited it to $100 without any possibility of a jail sentence.
During the process, the Judiciary Committee recommended killing of the bill, whereas the Senators voted 9-15 in a bid to overturn the recommendation.
The legalization process, which is soon to take place in several New England states in the current or upcoming year, is expected to lessen alcohol abuse and the violent behavior and accidents often caused due to driving after drinking.