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New Hampshire change: Bye, Bedford Falls; hello, Pottersville

When did New Hampshire turn from Bedford Falls into Pottersville?

Don't look now, but with the proposals coming out of the State House these days, one could be forgiven for thinking that someone was trying to rewrite the Frank Capra film classic into a very bad ending.

Tops on the list this last week: pot-smoking, hard liquor later and expanded gambling.

The House vote on extending "last call'' to 2 a.m. at bars may end up being the last straw for New Hampshire voters who thought they would change things up in Concord this biennium. Apparently, a cabal of Democrats who want more revenue and libertarian-leaning "anything goes'' Republicans decided that selling booze in the wee hours makes perfect sense.

We heard one legislator proclaim that allowing local bars to serve until 2 a.m. would be safer because it would keep more of our drinkers drinking closer to home. If people are driving to another state to drink for one more hour, we think their problems are bigger than a local last call.

But we also heard that "many other states'' allow serving until 2 a.m. Yes, and many other states have income and sales taxes, too. And many other nearby states are sporting slot machines and decriminalizing pot smoking, too.

Keep this up and we can change our branding. Instead of "visit and shop family-friendly, no-sales-tax New Hampshire,'' we can go with "Come early, drink late, and leave your wallet.''

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