Marijuana possession finds favor with one NH committee
House Bill 492 is modeled after Colorado and Washington laws that were approved by referendum. The New Hampshire bill would allow possession and transportation of up to one ounce of marijuana and the tax on sales would be 15 percent.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, said no one should celebrate because most of those absent oppose the bill.
Under Vaillancourt’s bill, the state would license the sales and any store where it was sold would have to meet local land use and planning regulations.
A bill passed by a nearly two-to-one majority by the House earlier this year would have decriminalized possessing a small amount of marijuana. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee recommended killing the bill, but the House instead amended it and sent it to the Senate where it was killed.
He said the Department of Revenue Administration has been unable to determine how much money the tax on marijuana would raise, but whatever it is, it would be money the state is not receiving now.
He said a study indicates a person’s marijuana use would reduce his or her use of a much more harmful substance — alcohol — by 35 percent.
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